As credit unions continue to drive positive change in the world, creativity is an increasingly essential part of your success. Encouraging creativity is a vital function of good leadership in any organization. There was a time when we believed that creativity is innate – you’ve either got it or you don’t. However, contrary to popular belief, no one is born without a creative bone in his or her body, and not all creative types are starving artists and spend their weekends in Coachella. All of us are born creative. As children, we make up imaginary friends, sing whimsically, ask question after question, look at a stick and create a whole world around it. “Creative Confidence: Having the freedom and courage to fail/take creative risks and the knowledge that all of the ideas you create have value.” – David and Tom Kelley Recent trends confirm the need and desire for creativity in the workplace. More and more, creativity is becoming an integral part of job descriptions. Some of the most admired Fortune 100 companies now expect their workers to spend as much as 20 percent of their time thinking creatively about current business challenges and new business opportunities. A global CEO survey by IBM listed the most important leadership characteristics, and creativity was ranked higher than integrity, intelligence, and a global mindset. “People are a storehouse of ideas. We all have tons of them if we really let ourselves free. The problem is that often times our ideas are shut down, or people criticize them, or we bring up suggestions and nothing happens. We all can get dismayed by the process of creativity when it's not rewarded. So in that sense, I don't think the problem is a lack of ideas, or creativity. The problem is how do you recognize an amazing idea, and how do you get it to become reality?” – Robert Richman Inspiration bursts forth from “collision points” – moments when different ideas, perspective and knowledge collide and creative something new in the universe. When your team can link unrelated concepts and ideas, they inspire and unleash fresh ideas into the world. THINK is all about fostering creativity. Our goal was always to encourage the sharing of ideas, development of new solutions and creation of a culture in our organizations that rewards effort and risk-taking. THINK is about searching out new experiences and perspectives We aim to expose the audience to ideas that question or oppose the common view of credit unions, pushing the audience out of their comfort zone – encountering new ways of thinking, doing business and changing the world. Leilah Janah, CEO and Founder of Samasource, believes that, “the greatest natural resource in the world that has been overlooked is the brainpower at the bottom of the pyramid.” THINK is about challenging everybody by providing space to brainstorm, foster and develop ideas Listening to new perspectives is important to be creative. Experiencing and collaborating on these new ideas is even more important. At THINK 16 there are two opportunities to collaborate: The "People Helping People 2.0" Masterclass and the "Culture Hacking" Masterclass. The motto? Alone we are smart. Together we are brilliant. Seek out and build purposeful relationships with people who are different than you It’s not only about building purposeful relationships within the credit unions world; it’s also about connecting and networking with our speakers, various experts in their fields and your consumers. We strongly believe in building a network of thinkers and idea people with varied backgrounds, education and professional experience and whose ideas you admire to advance the purpose of credit unions. As Whitney Hess wrote: “Your work should have purpose – addressing actual, urgent problems that people are facing. Make sure that you can clearly articulate the core of the issue before spending an ounce of time on developing the design. The true maker of an effective designer is the ability to answer ‘why?’ Don’t waste your time solving the wrong problems.” THINK is about creating a culture that respects effort and failure THINK is an innovation platform. We challenge the status quo. We support and reward risk takers. We aim to lead by example – and to continue to surface new ideas and suggestions to solve existing problems. Unleashing creativity allows credit unions to innovate, grow and compete in today’s marketplace. We will unleash your creativity May 3-5 in San Diego. And challenge you year-round to develop new ideas. We hope you join us. Haven’t registered yet? There’s still time. Join us in San Diego!