Cirque Panel Kicks Off 'REACH 2016'

L-R: James Guilford, creator of Cirque du Soleil’s SPARK Sessions; Emmanuel Durand, head coach of Cirque’s “O” show; Brooke Wahlquist, event manager for community engagement at Cirque; and Alma Derricks, vice president of marketing and sales for Cirque

One of the best ways for an organization to invest in human capital comes down to being conscious of what employees really need, considerate of every staff member on the team, and compatible with the brand, according to the opening general session keynote speaker at REACH 2016 on Wednesday afternoon (Nov. 2).

“People get human capital investment confused with perks,” said Jay Guilford—content strategist, corporate leadership coach, and creator of Cirque du Soleil’s SPARK Sessions. “Human capital investment has got to be organic and genuine.”

Guilford interviewed three Cirque employees on stage to gain their thoughts on what this idea means. Providing an atmosphere where every employee has a chance to evolve and develop their skill sets is key, as well as cross-pollinating skills over several staff, the panel said. Diversity of thought is critical, as is bringing together various disciplines across the table, which draws an amazing amount of learning. “Our powers combine” is a popular saying between Cirque staff.

Lastly, asking employees what they are interested in working on should be paramount, the panel said. Cirque has infused these tactics so it can create opportunities for their staff to grow—from the clowns to the acrobat entertainers, operations managers, talent scouts, office staff, and others. One highlight of being a Cirque employee: professional massages at work and healthy food-catering are almost unlimited because it directly impacts their fulfillment and performance.

Guilford asked: “What are you going to do to ‘Cirqueify’ your credit union?” Credit union leaders were challenged as they responded and envisioned this concept from their seats.

President’s Report and ‘RMJ’ Remembrance
Diana Dykstra, president and CEO of the California and Nevada Credit Union Leagues, addressed attendees by thanking credit unions in both states for cooperating together as a movement to achieve better financial outcomes for their members in 2016.

Her president’s report outlined the successes of the past year in the political, regulatory, and operational arenas, and also highlighted how the league is poised to help credit unions change their members’ lives in 2017 through new initiatives. “Let’s continue reaching together to improve people’s lives in the work we do individually and collectively,” she said.

Dykstra also brought attention to credit union icon and former Western Corporate FCU (WesCorp) CEO Richard Myles Johnson (“RMJ”), who passed away Aug. 31 at the age of 92. He was remembered on stage for his decades of dedication, commitment, and service to the credit union movement and philosophy.

New League Chairman and NCUA’s Metsger
Inland Valley FCU CEO Chuck Papenfus, outgoing chairman of the California League, and Greater Nevada CU CEO Wally Murray, outgoing chairman of the Nevada League, thanked their respective league boards and member credit unions for their support during 2015-2016. At the annual business meeting earlier that day, Valley First CU CEO Hank Barret was elected as new chairman of the California League and WestStar CU CEO Rick Schmidt elected as new chairman of the Nevada League.

Lastly, National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) Board Chairman Rick Metsger shared insight from the stage on what the agency has accomplished since he took the helm six months ago—discussing the NCUA’s board briefings, exam flexibility initiative, call report schedule changes, finalization of member business lending and field-of-membership rules, reorganizing the agency’s Office of Consumer Financial Protection, and several other projects to help ease regulatory burden on credit unions.

“I’m committed to making these initiatives work so credit unions can serve their members well,” Metsger said. “It’s important we fulfill our responsibility to help you fulfill your responsibility of being a source of prudential credit and services for your members.”

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