MEMBERS Development Company teams up with futurethink to offer innovation training to participating credit unions

Program helps organizations model innovative thinking and ignite positive change

MINNEAPOLIS, MN (December 7, 2017) — After considering dozens of specialized training providers, MEMBERS Development Company has selected futurethink to offer innovation training opportunities to its owner credit unions. Based in New York, futurethink focuses on four essential areas to foster innovation: Strategy, Ideas, Process and Climate.

According to MDC’s CEO, Jeff Kline, creating an innovation culture is especially important at a time when the financial services industry, including credit unions, needs to embrace digital transformation to remain relevant.

“Today’s consumers are comfortable using smartphones, tablets or watches to do almost anything – order fast food, book a flight, find a doctor, or manage their money,” Kline said. “Retailers like Amazon, Groupon and Costco have set new standards for high-quality customer experiences, so people expect the same from service providers. To keep members engaged, credit unions must find innovative ways to simplify procedures, enhance member experience, and personalize interactions.”

Kline says credit union renewal in the face of digital disruption and heightened member expectations calls for transformational thinking, and futurethink training programs can help. The company was founded to help organizations motivate change and build innovation skills. But that may mean discarding some old notions.

“To thrive, organizations must be willing to challenge assumptions, kill outdated rules, create a mindset for change, and develop an innovation culture that encourages smart risk-taking,” said Lisa Bodell, Founder and CEO of futurethink, adding it needn’t be complicated. “Complexity is killing companies’ ability to innovate and adapt, making simplicity the competitive advantage of our time.”

To help companies integrate innovation into their organizational strategy and success, futurethink’s training participants learn best practices for innovation problem solving, as well as hands-on techniques for igniting and role-modeling a culture of innovation in their organizations.

Bodell points to an experience inspired by the firm’s “Kill the Company” technique as an example:

Two senior HBO leaders sent an email to a random cross-section of their teams, asking for ideas on how to ‘kill’ the company. (“Pretend you’re CEO of Netflix for a day; how would you kill us?”) The executives set up an email chain, requiring everyone to contribute and build upon ideas. In two hours, they generated a four-page document that proved to be an excellent thought starter.

To take advantage of futurethink innovation training, MDC’s 45+ owners may choose from a variety of training models, including two-hour microlearning programs; half- or full-day workshops; or more intense boot camps, which require additional pre-work and check-ins. All training is supported by a 24/7 on-demand, online portal of innovation resources. Futurethink also will build customized training programs to fit individual credit union’s budgets, time and priorities.

Since its founding in 2003, futurethink has helped organizations in more than 40 countries create innovation solutions, including Google, GE, Lowe’s, and Intel.

For information on MEMBERS Development Company and its research and development projects visit or click on the links below.

About MEMBERS Development Company

MEMBERS Development Company ( is a network of more than 60 industry-leading credit unions that conduct R&D initiatives focused on delivering meaningful solutions to the 21st Century demands of consumers. MDC Owners pool their resources to perform relevant research, develop innovative products and services, create valuable vendor relationships, share knowledge, provide economies of scale and keep a consistent focus on the horizon. At MDC, we believe our research must be driven by our owners for our owners. While we do the heavy lifting for them, our credit union owners both advise and participate in our work, making them not just investors but also partners.


Margaret Blankers, Media Liaison
MJB Public Relations Group, LLC

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