Have you ever had such a great idea that you just had to share it with someone?

Well, we’ve got 17 of them.

But they’re not our great ideas — they’re yours.

From a great hack to drastically reduce mortgage turnaround times (hint: help is just a phone call away — but you may be surprised about whom to call), to a dynamic way to get employees engaged in finding better methods to get things done (think of it as a digital suggestion box on steroids), Credit Union Journal’s annual Best Practices Awards offer readers a treasure trove of innovative ways to cut costs, increase efficiency, boost loan volume, improve the member experience and more.

Every year, we ask industry stakeholders (including credit unions themselves) to nominate credit unions for this special award program. What makes it so special is that it’s not about recognizing already well-known personalities in the credit union community. Rather, our awards go out to credit unions that have implemented some new policy, procedure, program or technology that has vastly improved the way they do business.

And we don’t expect you to just take our word for it: awards only go to those credit unions that can demonstrate concrete, measurable, real-world results, not pie-in-the-sky projections or anecdotal evidence.

Starting on page 10 of this issue (and available online at www.cujournal.com) are a whole host of terrific ideas you will wish you had come up with yourself. But this is even better than dreaming up your own bright idea, because these ideas come with proven track records, and are ready for you to tailor to your own environment.

Lisa Freeman is editor in chief of Credit Union Journal and can be reached at lisa.freeman@sourcemedia.com.