John Best

John Best, Best Innovation Group

‘Become nimble and adapt’

Find the right talent to address emerging technologies.

April 27, 2022

Bitcoin. Virtual reality. Artificial intelligence. 

All are technologies that have the capability of shaping the future of the credit union industry, and organizations need to find the right talent to keep up with the changing landscape. 

“Credit unions are the original innovators but how do we continue to innovate?” asks John Best, CEO of Best Innovation Group. “The most important asset of a credit union is the people. We have the people and the people create the place.”

Best explained new technologies, how they will impact credit unions, and how credit unions can attract the talent needed to deploy these technologies during the 2022 CUNA HR & Organizational Development Council Conference Tuesday in Orlando.

“If we don’t become nimble and adapt, we will cease to exist,” Best says. 

Emerging technologies include: 

  • Cryptocurrency. Interest in cryptocurrency is already growing and some major financial institutions are starting to offer cryptocurrency as rewards. Best says the best way to begin understanding cryptocurrency is to buy it. During the hiring process, ask questions about cryptocurrency because staff needs to understand the asset. There are various ways for credit unions to get involved with crypto, but Best says its most important to develop a crypto roadmap. “Human resources should participate in developing the roadmap,” he says. “However, the roadmap is useless unless you have the talent onboard to understand and deliver on it.” 
  • The metaverse. A network of 3D virtual worlds focused on a social connection, Best says the metaverse is an $8 trillion opportunity. It's still in development, but it’s coming rapidly and will present many opportunities for credit unions, including the concept of a virtual branch where transactions can be conducted. 
  • Artificial intelligence (AI). There is no threat that AI will take over people’s jobs, Best says, rather it will complete tasks that historically been performed by people, freeing them up for more important responsibilities. “AI will have a very specific use case over and over again,” he says.

  John Best

John Best demonstrates how consumers can use virtual reality to visit a virtual branch.

To take advantage of these new technologies, Best says credit unions must have a culture that supports employees. Credit unions, which have a history of collaborative, open cultures, have a great opportunity to attract the tech talent needed. 

IT employees have cited limited career paths, lack of workplace flexibility, and toxic work environments as top reasons for leaving jobs during the Great Resignation, Best says. 

“Culture is the most important aspect,” he says. “Nobody wants to work where they feel they don’t fit in.”