Two years ago, I attended the CUES CEO Institute at Wharton School of Business. One of the most impressive speakers was a man from Vongola Consulting named Rob-Jan de Jong. He talked to us about a concept called ‘future priming’.
Basically, it is the idea that the leaders of your credit union should periodically spend time considering what the future might look like and how you can prepare for it. This ‘primes’ your mind to spot shifts in trends. Inevitably, if you discuss something, you will see examples of it. (That’s called the Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon, by the way).
Read this list and then ask yourself, if true, what would it mean to our credit union? How would we have to evolve? What could we do to excel?
Well, not cars, but cars as we know them will be gone. I predict that in ten years almost all cars will be self-driving, like the one in this video.
Cars that can drive themselves will have fewer accidents (less left up to human error), will be able to navigate rationally to reduce traffic (no more lookyloos that slow down the flow of traffic) and you’ll have far more time to check Facebook on your morning commute AND! They probably can park themselves. How can that not be in our future?
2. Homogeneous Office Spaces
Even though self-driving, self-parking cars will eventually cut our commutes in half, we are going to wake up to the fact that spending more than 10 minutes in the car for a commute is a waste of productivity and a serious drain on quality of life. We are also going to come to terms with the fact that working from home doesn’t quite work.
As companies grow, I think they will look more at housing employees in shared workspaces, like Office Nomads. Instead of figuring out how to build more offices and provide enough parking and support various locations or figuring out how to set each employee’s house up with the proper tools to work from home, I think companies will eventually rent desks in shared workspaces.
Employees will not be working from home, but they will be working near home. Employers will rent a handful of desks near where employees live. An employee won’t be asked to drive 40 minutes into work, but they won’t be isolated in their office/bedroom 40 hours a week. Instead, they will drive five minutes to an office that they share with four of their co-workers and ten people from other companies.
The magic is the collaborative environment. Everyone I know who rents a desk in spaces like this swears by the innovative energy sparked by working side-by-side with someone outside of your industry. For creative, motivated employees, this is an ideal way for credit unions to break free from the great echo chamber known as the credit union industry.
The way we navigate and interact with television is already blurring the lines between TV and computer. Add to that our addiction to touch screens and I’m certain that the television in ten years will let you scroll through channels without using a remote. Probably, you’ll just need to say “switch” or “pause” or “fast forward” and your screen will obey.
You’ll also be able to shop for clothing by watching an avatar with exactly your body type try on clothing instantaneously. Oh, and then post it to Facebook to see what your friends think of it before you order it.
4. Phone Numbers
Watching my three young daughters interact with technology, it is clear that the difference between an iPhone and an iTouch or iPad is lost on them. They communicate through text and Facetime such that phone numbers seem irrelevant. Since phone numbers are tied to one device and are dependent on expensive phone plans, I predict that Facetime-type communication that can be transferred from one device to another will overtake mobile phone technology just as mobile phones are currently edging out landlines.
This is a gimme because we’ve all been saying it for at least two years. But soon you’ll have apps that allow you to make purchases, unlock your house, check out a book from the library, show proof of insurance, double as a license, and talk to an ATM.
Shari Storm is Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer of Verity Credit Union and is the author of the book “Motherhood is the New MBA”, available here: http://www.amazon.com/Motherhood-New-MBA-Parenting-Skills/dp/0312544316/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1314126290&sr=1-1