Jake Dunagan makes a living predicting the future.
He presented two futuristic scenarios for credit unions during the 2019 CUNA Lending Council Conference Monday in New Orleans.
Dunagan, director of the Governance Futures Lab at the Institute for the Future, examines “urgent” future issues using a continuous “foresight/insight/action” process.
He says this process is an excellent strategic planning tool. “This is a skill set you need to cultivate,” he says. “This process never stops. We want to institutionalize foresight. Long-term thinking pays off with real results.”
Dunagan doesn’t aim to pick a single future. Rather he develops four to five scenarios by examining “potentially impactful small trends” such as a product or service experiences, business initiatives, personal observations, research projects, data points, and news stories.
He’ll then ask strategic questions about these scenarios, such as:
Dunagan presented two scenarios as to what credit unions will look like in 2030:
Credit unions lead the way in providing creative and nimble services and offerings for the gig-based, precarious worker of 2030. The trust factor has been important in the information-openness that many members have with their credit union.
“The point is, here are certain trajectories of change,” he says. “How do you deal with them? How will you serve people in a way that matches your mission? These are seeds of ideas to think through.”
Underlying these scenarios are several real trends:
“Embrace the unexpected and be open to seemingly outlandish futures and radical changes, and prepare yourself,” Dunagan advises. “The downsides of being blindsided are severe.”
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