Jan 05 2012

Global Trends: Drivers, Values, and Strategic Questions for Credit Unions


Every business leader is forced to wrestle with the prospect of what’s next. This report looks beyond the next few years at four scenarios that are possible next steps beyond the Great Recession.

In this report, Andy Hines, a lecturer at the University of Houston, analyzes four North American and global trends as archetypes for what’s possible beyond the Great Recession. He addresses their correlations to society, technology, the economy, the environment, and politics and then explores the credit union implications of each:

  • Long Boom (continuation)—The most familiar possibility shows the recession as a painful bump in the road, and soon domestic and international economies will pick up roughly where they left off. Steady long-term growth is the continuing norm; society and business look a lot like they have for the past 20 years.
  • Stagnation (collapse)—The most dire scenario treats the Great Recession as a prelude to further recession and long-term stagnation. It is not an apocalypse, but it’s a world in which the economy and society do not respond to government intervention, and consumers and society slow down. Security becomes paramount.
  • Our Turn (new equilibrium)—This exercise imagines a world in which the recession continues to be severe and is conquered only as emerging markets take the reins of the global economy, displacing the governments and consumers of the developed world.
  • Soft Path (transformation)—Here environmental and social sustainability move from “nice to have” to “need to have” values as worldwide consumers fundamentally reassess priorities. Local products and services flourish in an environment that defines success and progress in sustainable terms.

None of these may emerge exactly as described, but some combination is very likely. Use this document to decide where your credit union needs to be in five years.

Report Number 258