Filene’s innovation programs help credit unions execute on innovation, ideas and cultural change. We will bring the Filene Method, our innovation curriculum which was developed from more than a decade of experience in creating, testing and implementing ideas, to lead your team to success.

Innovation Programs Details

Create innovators within your credit union to help solve your members' most pressing issues.

Use the Filene Method to infuse innovation into your organization's culture and create solutions to your members' most pressing needs. Our proprietary curriculum was developed specifically for the cooperative finance space, using human-centric design thinking. 

Your team will learn tools and techniques to create, test and implement ideas - skills that they can use immediately and throughout your credit union.

Case Studies:

Libro Credit Union's Innovation Journey

Brian Aalbers shares how Filene helped Libro Credit Union harness employee passion and creativity to build an innovation framework.

Wright-Patt Credit Union's Member Impact Innovation

Eric Bugger explores how innovation programing helped them see through their members' eyes.

Each program option can be customized to meet your strategic goals. Our goals are two-fold:

  • Empower your team with techniques that will help them create innovative solutions rooted in real consumer need and,
  • Make innovation affordable and accessible throughout the credit union industry.

Program options:

Human-Centered Design: Its tenants and how it can be leveraged to drive both incremental progress and improve the member experience.

Insights: What insights are, how insights can be found and new ways to leverage insights to better understand true consumer needs.

Innovation Immersion: A one- or two-day accelerated innovation process that helps credit unions, CUSOs, and state leagues address and prototype solutions for their biggest challenges.

Empathy Building: How to draw and use an Empathy Map to better understand the needs of a specific group of members, potential members, or colleagues.

Problem Identification: At least three ways to isolate root causes to establish a clearly defined problem to study that is tailored to a specific audience.

Ideation: At least four techniques that not improve the process and experience of brainstorming and grow a bigger volume of ideas around solutions to those problems.

Agile Innovation: How incremental improvement and innovation connect and build upon one another.

Prototyping: How to create an inexpensive and physical representation of an idea that will be tested with consumers.

Testing: A testing plan framework to clarify goals, audience, and questions to answer.

Reporting: the components necessary for innovation reporting including the “pitch” and concept documents.

Execution and Innovation: The intersection of creativity and delivery, what it takes to grow a culture of innovation and be an innovative leader, and the challenges and benefits of leading innovation

Your team will walk away with:

  • Real tools to infuse innovation competencies throughout your organization.

How it works:

  • Filene helps you gather 1-3 problems that your members, community and/or the credit union team face.
  • You choose a team of 12-25 associates to spend two days putting those problems through the Filene Method while learning innovation competencies.
  • The programs take place at your credit union, at a nearby creative space, or at one of Filene's creative spaces in Madison, WI or California.
  • Filene coaches provide tools, research and inspiration to guide your team as they create innovative solutions to the problems identified.
  • Your innovators will receive Filene method reference materials, hands-on support from industry experts in innovation, and professional development experience that yields results today and into the future.


    "Participating in the Filene Innovation Immersion gets you outside the four walls of your office, your box, and inspires you to think about what could be, and often times what should be, when it comes to serving our credit union Members. It stimulates great conversations and collaboration amongst credit unions, which is a key difference about our industry compared to others. This unique collaborative component of the credit union movement can lead to great innovation in the future." 

    Mindy Mills
    SchoolsFirst FCU

    “Often I've been to classes where you come away with a tid-bit and that’s a success. The Immersion expanded my toolbox; I came away with another lens to look at opportunities that exist, and a creative way to approach them that makes sense. The class was well worth the time (which went by too quickly) and its one of the rare times you see everyone fully engaged for both days. I want more...” 

    John Baltzer
    CUNA Mutual Group