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Who’s next?

September 1, 2014

This morning I was listening to The Who and their 1971 album “Who’s Next?”. This album captured something of that time. What was it like then and how was it any different than now?

The album cover speaks of the youth’s obstinance then. It was a time of confusion. It was a time of optimism though. Personalities had come and gone but nothing or no one seemed in want for much. We had arrived with our ideals, our education, our minimal but refreshing means to do just about anything. We hadn’t met any diversity that we could not either accept or overcome in some fashion. Our new found courage was grounded in being naively youthful. Energy and passion wore out the obstacles. We resisted little as there was little to resist. Our suffering had not arrived and the world was still bound in its happenings, sharpness had not started. Our idealism would not be prevailed upon. The world and its events were belonged by no one and it was still ‘us’. ‘Me’ and it selfishness had not been born. ‘Now’ is not of that age.

 

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‘Tell us what democracy looks like!’ Protesters march to Parliament Hill

August 28, 2014

‘Tell us what democracy looks like!’ Protesters march to Parliament Hill

This is what it is about. Why do political parties not understand this is a prime motive for citizens to be vocal because we live in a democracy.

Douglas Coupland

August 8, 2014

Went to the Vancouver Art Gallery yesterday to see the Coupland exhibit. It was excellent! I had no idea the extent of the creativity of this person. There is a lot to see and it is definitely a show you can attend more than once.

The intrigue about his work is substantial. You can see a unique perspective of the world we now live in. You can see elements of being a Vancouverite and a Canadian. There is boldness yet intricacy in the presentations. It is exciting to dismantle and then reconstruct, in a different fashion, one’s view of something. So much of his art does this and it is brilliant.

One very neat thing is the invitation to take pictures with the hashtag #couplandvan.

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Holidays

August 6, 2014
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Half way through a 3 week holiday and for the first time in a long time I feel somewhat rested.

We seem to get into an everyday work cycle that is not very easy to shed. It takes a lot of concentrated effort to stay away from the business aspect of your life with the immediacy of smartphones and the ubiquitous internet. It seems we have woven our personal and business lives in such a fashion it is hard to take them apart. A staycation is more like part time work.

The next week will be how well my mind can reset. And how hot and sunny it will be!

Last day at CUWaterCooler Nashville

October 18, 2013

The CUWaterCooler is just about over. There are two more presentations before it will be the end of this years Symposium. It has been as different as all the others before it.

We missed a few of the editors like Ed Brett from Westminster Credit Union. The venue is probably the best ever and those returning knew the neighbourhood so getting around was easier. We reunited with old friends and made some new ones. We talked about the same old things and some new debates began. Matt Monge’s presentation about ‘Servant Leadership’ was extremely valuable and really challenged anyone who was a CEO. Rob Oxoby’s “Behavoir, Savings and Borrowing of the Lifecycle: Insights from Behavioural Economics’ gave us some remarkable experience in Games Theory. Every presentation was valuable and relevant to anyone in a credit union. And as always there was an entertainment factor at times. When I get home I need to find that old Monopoly game.

One can’t really put a tag or singular definiton about CUWaterCooler. It really needs to be experienced. It is fun and it makes you think is some new fashion. Thanks to everyone who came, to those who contributed, to Tim and Matt who work so hard to make it what it is, to Ron who always gives us some incredible insight and to Nashville for being a wonderful host.

Funny, once you drink from this watercooler you always want to come back.

Expectations for the CUWaterCooler

October 14, 2013

There are only a few days left until leaving for Nashville to attend the CUWaterCooler event. It has been a few years that this event has been in existence and has evolved from the Forum Solutions Symposium in Fishers, Indiana that goes back to at least 2008. (somebody out there will correct me on this).

I realize some individuals when reading this will say that most of us are just regurgitating the same old stuff and live in our own credit union echo chamber. That may appear to be so. Maybe it is because most of us have travelled the road of attending too many value-less conferences. We have paid large amounts of money only to hear experts tell us what we either already know or what we have dismissed as not extremely vital.

One of the key understandings of co-hosts and editors is to have a symposium that brings value in the simplest of terms to everyone who attends. Most presentations are by people who have a high degree of passion for what they will speak about. They are genuine in what they present and are more than willing to be challenged to further the dialogue. When everyone is willing to discuss the subject everyone learns.

I am always amazed by the people who attend for the first time. They really haven’t experienced those types of discussions or that level of networking. They usually come away excited and anxious about what to do when they get home. That makes this event different. The ideas you hear about get developed to a greater degree by the communication you have with everyone there. You begin to formulate what that will mean where you work. That is the real magic of the CUWaterCooler. Two days of being part of a group of people who want to do a better job, are willing to change and have some great ideas on how to accomplish these new found challenges — who wouldn’t want be to part of that?

Here is some advice. Come with no expectations except to enjoy the company, have intriguing discussions and make some new friends. What you leave with will be a gentle prodding to try something different. For some that will be immediate, for others a much longer journey. The fact is that something in the way you perceive credit unions will change, if only just a little. And that is what makes it all worth it.

It is a little cold in Winnipeg

March 14, 2013

Yesterday after having lunch with a few friends at an Ethiopian restaurant I was able to spend the afternoon at the Winnipeg Art Gallery (WAG). This was the first afternoon I had ever had free time in the city and had heard of their collection of Inuit carvings was the largest in the world. It really was worth it.

They had a large exhibit framed around the various decades since 1950. You could see the progression or more so the influence of the outside world in their carvings over the years. The geographic area from which the carvings have come from is huge but the common points the artists were depicting were similar. It was intriguing to see such beautiful work. 

It started me thinking about the creativity in each piece given the landscape, geography and setting in which the carving was created. There was simplicity and yet in the strongest possible terms a complex beauty you rarely see. Art seems to transcend what we see with our eyes. It begins to take us into a realm that we don’t inhabit very often. To be able to be drawn in by the uniqueness of so many carvings was a wonderful experience. We need to take time, to pause for more than an hour and enter those artful, creative realms where text and noise no longer exist. It refreshes us to be human on occasion. 

If you are ever in Winnipeg visit the WAG. It is an exceptional place.

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