PSCU to Host Innovation Hackathon

KnockOut 2012 leverages crowdsourcing to benefit CUs.

August 17, 2012
KEYWORDS credit , cuso , knockout , pscu , unions
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PSCU is inviting its member/owner credit unions to assemble teams of software designers, programmers, and analysts—innovative thinkers and doers—to compete in its version of a hackathon to be hosted at the credit union service organization’s (CUSO) MōPRO Innovation Lab in St. Petersburg, Fla., October 19-20.

The event, dubbed KnockOut 2012, gives design teams 24 hours to produce a viable proof of concept or working demo of a service, solution, or process that promises to deliver real, cutting-edge value for credit unions and/or their members.

“We are passionate about bringing credit unions together for the common good of the industry,” says Michael Kelly, PSCU CEO/president. “We know there are great ideas in all corners of our CUSO just waiting to see the light of day. If the crowdsourcing approach of an event like the KnockOut leads to even just one innovative solution, all members of the credit union family win.”


Hackathons typically are all-night contests where team members collaborate to prototype an innovative product that is presented to a panel of judges to determine the “winning” idea, or the one with the greatest value.

For KnockOut 2012, PSCU judges will select up to three semifinalists, who will then have the opportunity to present their concepts to PSCU’s staff at one of the company’s employee Town Hall meetings.

PSCU employees will vote to select the winning team, whose members will receive an all-expense-paid Royal Caribbean cruise. Second and third place teams will also earn prizes.

PSCU KnockOut 2012 is open to all PSCU employees and employees of the CUSO’s member/owner credit unions. KnockOut organizers have also arranged for competing teams to participate remotely if they’re unable to travel to the company’s headquarters in St. Petersburg.

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Great article! Unfortunately, most employees don’t feel valued or appreciated by their supervisors or employers. In fact, research has shown that the predominant reason team members quit their jobs is because they don’t feel valued. This is in spite of the fact that employee recognition programs have proliferated in the workplace – over 90% of all organizations in the U.S. has some form of employee recognition activities in place. But most employee recognition programs are viewed with skepticism and cynicism – because they aren’t viewed as being genuine in their communication of appreciation. Getting the “employee of the month” award, receiving a certificate of recognition, or a “Way to go, team!” email just don’t get the job done. How do you communicate authentic appreciation? We have found people have different ways that they want to be shown appreciation, and if you don’t communicate in the language of appreciation important to them, you essentially “miss the mark”. Additionally, employees need to receive recognition more than once a year at their performance review. Otherwise, they view the praise as “going through the motions”. A third component of authentic appreciation is that the communication has to be about them personally – not the department, not their group, but something they did. Finally, they have to believe that you mean what you say. How you treat them has to match the words you use. If you are not sure how your team members want to be shown appreciation, the Motivating By Appreciation Inventory ( will identify the language of appreciation and specific actions preferred by each employee. You then can create a group profile for your team, so everyone knows how to encourage one another. Remember, employees want to know that they are valued for what they contribute to the success of the organization. And communicating authentic appreciation in the ways they desire it can make the difference between keeping your quality team members or having a negative work environment that everyone wants to leave. Paul White, Ph.D., is the co-author of The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace with Dr. Gary Chapman.

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