MEMBERS Development Company (MDC) is a thought leading research and development organization serving around 60 credit unions and financial service industry partners. MDC seeks to identify unique and innovative ideas and technologies that allow credit unions to accelerate growth, improve productivity, and increase the loyalty and satisfaction of credit union members.
MDC’s annual Innovation Council program is designed for credit union owners to brainstorm and explore creative solutions that will help them improve their efficiency, effectiveness and overall business growth. At the August 2017 national owners meeting, the goal of the program was to generate a pipeline of innovative ideas that balanced short-term, executable ideas on the one hand, with revolutionary ideas that would ‘push the envelope’ of near-term feasibility on the other hand (10+ years out). With approximately 30 credit unions participating, MDC was concerned that they would feel all of their voices were not being heard.
Baker Tilly developed a unique and customized approach to meet the program goals and address MDC’s concerns. The Innovation Council ideation process was divided into two phases: brainstorming near-term ideas (5-10 years out) and brainstorming ‘futuristic’ ideas (beyond 10 years).
The 5 to 10 year brainstorming ideation session was intended to generate ideas with lower risk, which could then be implemented in the near future.
The beyond 10 years brainstorming ideation session had less boundaries and constraints applied to it and generated ideas that seemed less practical for the present time. The logic behind that approach was that while the ‘futuristic’ ideas may seem unrealistic, some of the idea elements could be combined with other ideas (or add value to a different idea).
Credit union participants were organized into smaller brainstorming teams for both ideation sessions.
All of the ideas from both ideation sessions were prioritized and researched through a quantitative survey approach in order to validate the attractiveness of the ideas with a national consumer sample.
This approach during the 2017 Innovation Council program was highly successful for MDC and resulted in a robust pipeline of ideas that spanned member experience, internal operation improvements and new market partnerships.
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