Article

From John: Talent Development Has Gone Beyond Pivotal to Pivoting

yellow paper boat pivots out of line of white boats
John Pembroke Photo
President/CEO
CUES

2 minutes

Crucial as ever, good learning offerings have become more flexible in both delivery and subject matter.

Talent development has been pivotal for a long time. That is, it has been of crucial importance to the growth and ultimate success of individuals, teams, departments and organizations.

While still pivotal, effective talent development today is also all about pivoting. That is, it must be flexible both in the way it’s consumed and in its subject matter. Let’s look at each of these in turn.

Flexible Delivery Methods

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in March 2020, credit unions everywhere scrambled to make it possible for their staffs to work from home. Laptops were purchased. Home office security was studied and addressed. Managers figured out ways to stay in touch with their staff members—home office to home office—so they could answer questions, ensure member service and shore up staff morale.

Clearly this whole scenario involved a lot of on-the-job learning about leadership, crisis management and recovery. CUES knows that credit union leaders were committed to doing things right because traffic on our content pages, especially those related to the pandemic response, soared during this time.

But those in charge of learning realized the importance of making sure that on-the-job learning wasn’t the only option. Organizations like CUES got busy transforming learning experiences that had long been in-person events for delivery in the digital realm, partnering to offer top-tier and time-tested online programs and also creatively developing entirely new offerings.

The sudden emphasis on online learning, which has been so difficult for some, has produced unexpected silver linings. For example, it can allow learning to extend deeper into an organization. This may be in part because it doesn’t require travel and therefore can cost less than traditional in-person offerings. Online learning can also give people more choice about when they "attend,” even allowing them to return to complete a particular program if they need to step away to attend to a pressing business concern.

New Learning Focus

As learning pivoted in how it was consumed last year, topic emphasis also shifted in response to what happened in the world.

With the pandemic ongoing since last March, the issue of wellness, both physical and mental, has weighed heavily on everyone’s minds. And social justice came to the fore after the widely publicized murder of George Floyd in May, leading to an emphasis on diversity, equity and inclusion. Learning offerings quickly pivoted to better include these areas, and as we celebrate Black History Month, I encourage you to continue your personal journey by visiting our DEI Resource Center.

What’s next for talent development?

We hope that 2021 will be a better, healthier year. We can be assured that learning will continue to be pivotal for the growth and success of individuals, teams, departments and organizations. And we can—and should—take the best of the pivoting that’s been done with educational offerings in 2020 and carry it forward.

Since joining CUES in March 2013, John Pembroke has played a leadership role in developing and launching a new direction in CUES’ strategy, branding and culture. Under his guidance, CUES has revamped its membership structure and launched new institutes. Additionally, CUES has expanded its market further into Canada and the Caribbean. Pembroke’s experience includes 25 years in financial services, marketing and e-commerce. He also has served as chief marketing officer at PSCU Financial Services, St. Petersburg, Florida. Pembroke holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Business of the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA in Marketing and Policy Studies from the Booth School of Business of the University of Chicago.

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