7 ways to get more (and better) creative ideas from your credit union team

first_imgCredit unions are a unique business. However, there are certain things that all businesses share. One of these is the need for innovation. Because the credit union business is constantly changing (now there’s an understatement!), it’s vital that credit unions keep innovating to stay ahead of the curve. And all innovation begins with a single, creative idea. But how do you get those creative ideas? Here are 7 ways that you, as a credit union leader, can get more (and better) creative ideas from your credit union team. Get them out of the workplace.A change of location helps shake the brain out of its routine. It also gets people away from the multiple distractions of the workplace, which are not conducive to creativity. So try having a lunch meeting at a local restaurant. Maybe a nearby hotel has a nice lobby area for a small, informal meeting. If it’s nice outside, go to a park! Anyplace other than your credit union’s version of “Meeting Room C.” Give them the “What”; let them give you the “How.”Nothing kills the creative spirit more than being micromanaged. Creative people (and we are all creative people) love being challenged. As a leader, it’s your job to set the goal (the “What”). Now, ask your team to come up with the “How.” Tip: prepare to be surprised by some brilliant ideas that you would never have thought of! Ask crazy questions.When looking for creative solutions to your next credit union challenge, ask your team “crazy” questions. Questions like: “How would we solve this problem if we had $20 million to throw at it?” “How would a professional dancer solve this problem?” “How would three cats, working together, solve this problem?” Not only will this force your team members’ brains into their naturally creative space, you may just find the germ of an actual solution in some of the answers they come up with! Make a “play space.”Creativity needs stimulation to thrive. People are more creative when they play. If possible, furnish one of your meeting rooms with a few toys (Nerf® balls, Legos®, etc.) and interesting, colorful magazines (not credit union—or any industry-related—magazines!). And, if you’re really serious about this, paint this room a shade of green. Studies show that the color green boosts creativity! Invite an outsider.Every now and then, invite someone from outside the credit union (and, preferably, from outside the financial services industry) to sit in on a meeting. An artist, a comedian, an art historian. Someone who sees the world through a completely different lens than you or your team. This person might see solutions, or come up with ideas, that would never occur to someone from the credit union industry. Send your team out for a walk.According to recent research done at Stanford, people do their best creative thinking while in motion—outdoors, down a corridor, or even just a treadmill. Many leaders have discovered the multiple benefits (including, of course, health) of holding “walking” meetings. Initiate “Plagiarism Friday.”(Full disclosure: I plagiarized this idea from someone else, but I can’t remember whom.) Every Friday, have each member of your team bring in one great idea from outside the credit union industry and share what makes the idea creative and innovative. Then ask your team how that idea could be incorporated into the credit union. (a bonus tip!) Let your team know that ideas are welcome, encouraged, even required, from everyone.No one has a monopoly on great ideas! That next breakthrough idea—the one that takes your credit union to the next level—can come from anyone on the team.Creativity and innovation are the keys to your credit union’s success. Every new challenge (and it seems like there’s a new one every day) requires a creative solution. It’s up to you, as a credit union leader, to encourage, support, and value creativity from everyone on your team! 51SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Bill Stainton Bill Stainton works with extraordinary leaders who want to produce breakthrough results with their teams. A 29-time Emmy® Award-winning producer, writer, and performer, Bill speaks frequently to Credit Unions and … Web: www.billstainton.com Detailslast_img read more

Lakers’ JR Smith took fatherly advice on his way back to the NBA

first_imgSmith has undoubtedly been rusty in the restart. He said it’s also been difficult being away from his family again: He estimates he spends up to six hours a day on FaceTime with his daughters – even the youngest at 2 years old brings the phone to her mother, eager to call Dad.Earl Jr., like any sports father, thinks his son could benefit from a few more touches. But more importantly, he sees his J.R. fulfilled back on the job.“This is the happiest I’ve seen J.R. in years – the happiest I’ve seen him since he won the championship,” Earl Jr. said. “It was depressing for a while. Every man cries for a reason, and he had a reason. But when J.R. is in something and committed to it, he’s in it 110 percent.” Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with Packers“It was a lot, but it’s funny,” he said. “Because once you’re on a bike, and you’re cruising, you don’t really think about it too much until you gotta turn around and go back.”So yes, J.R. Smith’s return to the NBA for the first time since November 2018 is like riding a bike.Everyone is getting used to the strangeness of playing out the season in the Disney bubble, but returning to the structure – the practices, the film sessions, the team dinners – has felt easy for Smith, a 15-year veteran who has spent almost half his life in the NBA.Even though he is the most recent Laker newcomer after signing in June, he has some of the most robust and complex handshakes with teammates that he executes at introductions before every game. He hasn’t played much during the restart, only 54 minutes in five games, but that hasn’t mattered as much as simply being in the league again.When did it feel like Smith had blended into the Lakers’ locker room? Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs “The first day he got here: Everybody’s known him,” said Danny Green, who came up in the same Northeast hoop circles as Smith. “We’ve all played against him for years. He’s played with most of these guys here. They’ve all known him, shown love, grew up in the same area with the guy, so first day he was himself, and he was happy and excited. And it was like, he’s here, so he’s just a part of the group.”Shaking a stigmaBy his own admission, Smith’s comeback from the pits of a “depressed state” is a fairly remarkable one.In his last year with the Cavaliers in the 2018-19 season, the franchise began to pivot to a rebuild after LeBron James moved on and was set to reduce his minutes. Smith pushed back. He publicly accused the franchise of tanking, after which Smith and the Cavs agreed to split, with Smith on his own away from the team while a trade could be worked out. The trade never materialized, and he was waived in July 2019, at which point he began to realize getting back in the NBA might be harder than he thought.Smith declined to discuss the specific challenges of getting back into the league with the Southern California News Group, but he told the Inside the Green Room podcast that he believed persistent off-court rumors about his character were to blame – which he and his family have said were unfair.Smith has a reputation as an NBA wild card: His tenure with the Cavaliers included a famous anecdote of him throwing a bowl of soup at assistant coach Damon Jones, and he also was meme’d for a Game 1 mistake in 2018 when he allowed the game with the Warriors to go to overtime rather than taking a final shot. More seriously, in May, he was filmed in a fight with a man whom he accused of vandalizing his truck during a George Floyd protest in Los Angeles.While Smith acknowledges these past incidents, he also wishes equal weight were given to his track record as an NBA veteran and key player on several title-contending teams.“It is what it is, honestly,” he said. “People are going to have that perception of me. I’m convinced of it. There’s nothing I can really do to change that except just come every day and dedicate myself, and just be consistent.”But it’s hard to be consistent when the professional life you’ve known falls out from under you. Without basketball, Smith came unmoored living with his family in Warren, N.J. He stopped playing basketball, stopped watching basketball, stopped even playing basketball-themed video games. He gained weight. He became less interested in hearing from his agent, Rich Paul, if anyone wanted him because the news was increasingly grim. He got to spend a lot of time with his four daughters, but that was a silver lining as his career slowly kept drifting away.Renewed dedicationOne of the loudest voices in his corner was Earl Jr., who told his namesake son that his career wasn’t over. Smith is close with his dad and listens – “my dad is probably right 90 percent of the time, but don’t tell him that,” he said – and Earl’s message was some serious tough love.“If you ain’t gonna play, now you gotta find something to do,” Earl said he told his son. “I thought, ‘Get your ass in shape, go to L.A. Do your thing. Go make some goddamn money for those little girls.”Smith made the difficult decision to relocate to Los Angeles, where he would have better access to training. Especially during the NBA hiatus, the combination of biking and a vegan diet made him lose 20 pounds – in a show of support, Earl Jr. went vegan for a few months, too.Without this renewed dedication, Smith said, he wouldn’t have been physically ready to play when the Lakers came calling in June to swap him in for Avery Bradley.“The weight I was at, how my body would have had to respond to recovering to playing, I don’t think it would have happened,” he said. “My body wouldn’t have been able to handle it. … At the end of the day, just thank God you have the opportunity to play this game again. Be thankful, be humble, and take it in stride.”Related Articles LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. — For a year-and-a-half, the fiercest competition J.R. Smith had was with his brothers – not on the court, but on wheels.It was at the start of the pandemic when the 34-year-old bought a bike, looking for a way to safely get out of the house and lose weight. He’d ride up and down Venice Boulevard. He’d ride through the Pacific Palisades. He’d ride to Manhattan Beach.Always hungry for a contest, the Smith family tracked their biking miles on an app that they checked every day. Earl Smith Jr., J.R.’s father, saw his sons Demetrius and Chris peddling along at about 12 miles a day; J.R. would hit 20 miles: “After a while,” Earl said, “it wasn’t even close.”With practice, J.R. said, he found his mind would simply settle as he rode.last_img read more

Marlins Stop Mets’ Streak, 9-3

first_imgNEW YORK — For the first time in more than a week, the Mets’ march through September was stopped.Jacob deGrom was hit hard during a rare dud at home against one of his favorite opponents, and the Miami Marlins halted New York’s eight-game winning streak with a 9-3 victory Sept. 15.Mets nemesis Dee Gordon homered and had four hits to back Tom Koehler, who plunked Yoenis Cespedes in the first inning and then helped silence the streaking slugger the rest of the way.“I think it bothered us a little bit,” Mets Manager Terry Collins said. “So we’ll answer in our own due time.”New York’s commanding lead in the NL East was trimmed to 8 1-2 games over Washington, which beat Philadelphia 4-0. The magic number remained 10 for the Mets to clinch their sixth division crown.Christian Yelich had three hits and two RBIs following a surprise meeting with his Saturday Night Live doppelganger, and Justin Bour had three hits and two RBIs.Pitching close to his suburban New York hometown, Koehler (10-13) gave up a run in the first inning but no more after the Mets loaded the bases with one out. He was lifted after walking the first two batters in the seventh.Lefty reliever Mike Dunn struck out Curtis Granderson, Cespedes and Daniel Murphy in succession as the Mets were thwarted in their attempt to put together yet another late comeback.“With this team, you give them a crack, they’ve shown this year that they can kick the door in,” Marlins manager Dan Jennings said. “To go get three punchouts in that situation was huge. I thought he stifled any momentum swing that was possibly taking place there.”Last season’s NL Rookie of the Year, deGrom (13-8) got the ball on the anniversary of a striking performance. The right-hander whiffed the first eight Marlins at Citi Field on Sept. 15, 2014, matching the major league record to start a game since 1900.He entered with a 1.63 ERA in 23 career starts at home — and 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA against Miami overall. But the Marlins pounded him for six runs and a season-high 10 hits in five innings.“He’s got great stuff and he’s taken it to us a few times before,” Yelich said. “It was really just a combination of good at-bats.”It was the first time deGrom allowed more than three earned runs in a start at Citi Field. New York might skip his next turn in the rotation to give him a rest.“I’d like to keep pitching. I’ve had bad starts before. It’s kind of how you react after them. I’d like to get back out there,” deGrom said.The crowd chanted “MVP! MVP!” as Cespedes stepped to the plate in the first inning, and he was hit near the left hip on the first pitch he saw from Koehler, a 92 mph fastball. Cespedes stared out toward the mound before taking his base.It appeared to be retaliation for Sept. 14, when Cespedes held his bat aloft and admired a 442-foot drive off Marlins left-hander Justin Nicolino for his ninth home run this month.Koehler disputed that notion. “I was trying to pitch him inside,” he said. “It got away a little bit.”In the seventh, Mets reliever Erik Goeddel threw behind Koehler as the pitcher squared to bunt. Plate umpire Dale Scott warned both benches immediately after the wild pitch, and there was no further trouble.Koehler scored in the fifth after driving a double to right field for his first extra-base hit in 134 major league at-bats.Gordon is batting .464 during a 16-game hitting streak against the Mets.(MIKE FITZPATRICK, AP Baseball Writer)TweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more