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Getting ahead, on a treadmill

Our Wombat’s airport déjà vu

Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan “The Wombat” Fisher’s personal mission. Obvious and mediocre won’t be found here—but “Why didn’t I think of that?” will! Challenging the banking status quo is Dan “The Wombat” Fisher’s personal mission.

It seems like only yesterday, when I suggested to the senior staff that we should install keyboards and monitors on a few treadmills at the operations center of the bank I was working for at the time.

Frankly, they thought that their CIO was crazy.

But I was being insightful and entirely justified. During the winter, our staff often complained about being cold, lacking energy, and having a hard time concentrating.

A treadmill with a screen and keyboard—entirely optional—was the perfect solution.

Walk this way, Aero-Port not Aerosmith!

Rock and roll the clock forward to 2015 … and what do you find at airports today?

The picture tells the story. The Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport offers a treadmill—by brand name, a "Walkway Workstation"—equipped with a monitor, keyboard, internet access, and a device-charging station—all at no charge!

All in the spirit of good health, you can walk and connect while you wait to catch your connection.

It is a great idea, even though I thought of it 14 years ago.

Of course, should you find yourself at this airport, I’d reserve my surfing to public-friendly websites and trivial activities. That’s given the fact that it is free and not only will everybody be watching what you are surfing, they will also be watching you while you are walking.

Creative thinking combined with meeting a need in today’s mobile-based society. Not high tech as much as a good match.  Have fun while you are on the “run.”

So, the next time you have a good idea, even though some may think you’re crazy … remember, it is still a good idea!

—The Wombat!

Watch a video of the airport's treadmill in action

What crazy ideas have proved out for your bank recently? We’d like to hear about them, either in the comment space below or via email to Steve Cocheo, executive editor and digital content manager

Dan Fisher

Dan Fisher is president and CEO of The Copper River Group, a consulting firm headquartered in Fargo, N. D., that focuses on technology and payment systems research and consulting for community financial institutions. For nearly 30 years, Fisher has worked in the financial industry using technology to improve the bottom line. He was CIO of Community First Bankshares (now part of Bank of the West), has served as a director of the Federal Reserve Board of Minneapolis, the chairman of the American Bankers Association Payment Systems Committee, and was a member of the Independent Community Bankers of America Payments Committee. Fisher has written numerous articles on banking technology and the payments system. He has authored or co-authored six books and recently published a book titled, "Capturing Your Customer! The New Technology of Remote Deposit." You can contact Fisher at [email protected] or at 701-293-6222.
P.S. To understand Dan's nickname, check out "About the Wombat" on his website.       

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