Key predictions and influences

According to this paper by Deloitte (2012), the Canadian credit union system is entering the fourth wave of evolution, a period of realignment driven by competition, customer preferences, regulatory requirements, technological changes, and the quest for scale. This is resulting in a bifurcation of the system, into a small group of larger credit unions and a shrinking yet sizeable set of niche players. Collaboration and cooperation will be essential and credit unions will need to improve and develop to provide true value throughout the 21st century. Celero Insights in their article on 2021 trends in Digital Transformation state that investment in talent development, and having highly skilled people is key to providing credit unions the capacity to meet transformation initiatives. The Credit Unions in Canada Report shares that 2020-2025 is expected to experience continued growth as a result of economic recovery while also starting at a low base as a result of the pandemic. According to this post by Celero (2021), the federal government has shared the goal to establish an open banking system by January 2023, a key impact on the system. Through all this, credit unions’ commitment to members, local communities, cooperative principles, and the environment remains resilient as indicated in this 2020-2021 Community & Economic Impact Report.

In Manitoba, we are experiencing these changes now, emerging from a year of growth and we are on an upward trajectory. Key credit unions merged in 2020 with more coming. My credit union and five others underwent a key core-banking transition and digitization effort in 2020. For the first time, we have a digital team and roadmap. Recently my credit union was one of the four Canadian Credit Unions recognized as the top-performing B Corps creating the greatest impact through their businesses in the Best For the World listing by B Lab.

The future is here, it is bright, becoming brighter as we speak. So what will learning in Manitoban Credit Unions look like in 2030?

Current state and the promising future

Interestingly, right now in the local credit unions, there are no full-fledged learning teams or significant investment in employee learning beyond the mandated, canned e-learning modules developed by the CCUA or onboarding training in a classroom. 

However, this is changing and is accelerated by the pandemic. By 2030 learning and innovation will be a way of life in Manitoban credit unions. My credit union will have a full-fledged learning team of 5 qualified professionals by 2022. We will see an explosion in L&D investment starting now.

Peer-led learning and coaching supports will increase and learning will break the confines of the classroom leading to hybrid approaches of learning that will synthesize external offerings and courses built in-house. Conversations, collaboration, and co-creation of learning pathways will become the norm as new technologies  open new channels for flexible learning and collaboration. An eco-system approach that will combine formal and informal upskilling and reskilling elements like cross-functional and external partner collaboration, stretch assignments, employee-led innovation, and mentoring partnerships will prevail. The movement will be enhanced by the voice of the customer with measurements and evaluation systems  embedded in the learning pathways well before 2030.

Online learning and innovative use of digital channels will be increasingly appreciated as environmentally friendly, and technology supported learning will peak. However, an awareness of digital pollution and the impact of digital learning on the environment will start to trickle in towards 2030. It is then, like highlighted by Selwyn we will start to see how the production of digital artefacts and devices is an environmentally destructive process (Selwyn, N. 2021). My learning team will then quote Selwyn to say ” It is worth thinking how our current reliance on ‘abundant’ technology use might soon be curtailed by (i) the ongoing depletion of natural resources and (ii) increasingly unsustainable energy demands arising from the production and consumption of digital resources might soon curtail”. My environmentally committed credit union will be listening keenly and exploring more changes, towards the end of the decade.

The way ahead is positive. The lure of technology will continue to grow along with the investment and interest in learning, and learning and development  will continue to evolve in fascinating ways . It will combine the power of people, process efficiencies, technology support, and deliberate employee-led hybrid learning practices.