Create a Future-Focused People Strategy

compass needle pointing to word FUTURE
Christopher Stevenson, CAE, CIE Photo
SVP/Chief Learning Officer

4 minutes

TalentNEXT Q&A with CUES Chief Learning Officer

The CUES TalentNEXT conference, designed to help the industry’s senior HR, training and talent development leaders realize a strong, future-focused people strategy, is returning for its second year Sept. 10-12, in Savannah, Georgia. We sat down with Christopher Stevenson, CAE, CIE, SVP/chief learning officer at CUES, to talk about the event.

Q: What is TalentNEXT and how will it help me in my role?

A: Unlike other HR events that focus on operational topics like recruiting and compliance, TalentNEXT helps credit unions create a smart people strategy for their institution. 

The working world has changed a lot over the past few years; business as usual no longer cuts it. Credit unions must keep up with those changes to aid in attracting top talent and retaining their best employees. TalentNEXT can help.

Q: Who should attend TalentNEXT and can other members of my team attend? 

A: This conference is designed for credit union chief HR/talent development or people officers, but CEOs and other senior leaders interested in deepening their understanding of people strategy will also find value. For maximum benefit, consider sending more than one member of your executive team.

Q: What specific topics will be discussed? 

A: TalentNEXT is highly interactive, with group work, case studies and activities to ensure attendees will head home with actionable takeaways and new ideas to implement.

The sessions are led by authorities in people management and renowned faculty from Cornell University. For example, Cornell Professor Brad Bell will be discussing hybrid work strategies. Despite their many benefits, hybrid work models present some unique challenges. We’ll talk about adjusting leadership and management approaches, managing group culture and productivity, and establishing consistent and deliberate communication and collaboration norms.  

I’m also excited for LaToya Pryce’s session. She is culture and inclusion officer for $5.5 billion Visions Federal Credit Union, in Endicott, New York. Her session is called “How Psychological Safety Can Bridge the Generational Gap in the Workplace.” Having several generations of employees in the workplace at once is wonderful for diversity of thought, but there are also challenges. 

We’ll all benefit from Lauren Hodges’ session, “What Is Your Stress Personality?” Advancements in neuroscience over the past decades have brought us to a place where we understand more about this than ever before. As people leaders, it is especially important for us all to understand how stress affects us. If high demand is a part of your team’s daily lives and mental well-being is considered a business-critical value for your credit union, then you don’t want to miss this one. 

And that’s just Monday! On Tuesday, CUES’ own Lesley Sears, VP/consulting services, will lead a session on how to create a sticky culture. Plus, we’ll talk about the gender wage gap and what we can do about it, and how to approach those cringing and difficult conversations that many of us dread. We’ll end the conference with a stirring session about disrupting yourself.  Very few of us like change, much less embrace it. But Morris Morrison’s “Disrupt Yourself” program will energize and inspire you to abandon your need for certainty and embrace the opportunities that come with change.
Q: How will this event help CU executives address current industry challenges?

A: CUES recently wrapped up its fourth annual talent development survey of credit union CEOs and HR/talent development executives. Credit unions told us that they are still having difficulty finding qualified staff in their market area. In fact, finding quality employees had increased each year in the survey as the top challenge cited by survey respondents. Other top challenges include finding time for training and development, employee retention and succession planning/leadership development. TalentNEXT will help with each of these challenges.

Your people are essential to achieving your credit union’s goals. This event is an opportunity to focus on talent strategies and performance management, ensuring your credit union’s greatest asset—its people—can execute upon your strategic plan.

Q: Will I get continuing education credits for attending?

A: Yes! You can earn up to 12 Continuing Professional Education (CPE) credits. In addition, CUES is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP® recertification activities. You are eligible to receive up to 11 recertification credits.

Q: Where and when is TalentNEXT?

A: Sept. 10-12 in Savannah, Georgia. Learn more and register at I hope to see you there!cues icon

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