Three Realities are Forcing Us to Innovate

J. Benoit Caron, General Manager of the Consortium of Cooperative Resources and Expertise

As the General Manager of the Consortium, the shared services center for collective enterprises in Quebec, I am at the forefront of the evolving realities and challenges faced by cooperatives. Amidst disruptions in the workforce, the ongoing technological revolution, and the climate crisis, to name a few, it has become imperative for collective enterprises to adapt and innovate. Here, we will explore these three new realities that compel us, more than ever, to innovate.

1. A workforce in constant evolution

    The needs and aspirations of workers have evolved significantly in recent years. Accelerated by the pandemic, this transformation represents both a challenge and an opportunity for cooperatives. To recruit and retain their resources, they must innovate and demonstrate flexibility in their practices. This could involve adopting telecommuting policies, work-life balance initiatives, developing training programs, or implementing new recruitment practices, such as international recruitment.

    One thing is certain: Highlighting the cooperative distinction is advantageous; it creates a more human organization. This can enhance the attraction, motivation, and retention of the workforce.

    2. The inevitable digital transformation

    The ongoing technological revolution shows no signs of slowing down. The gap between companies that have undergone digital transformation and those that have not is widening, and it will continue to do so with the recent advent of artificial intelligence. Cooperatives are no exception! In 2022-2023, the Consortium assisted 63 cooperatives and non-profits in Quebec with their digital transformation, and the demand remains significant!

    3. Sustainability and adaptation to the climate crisis

    The climate crisis is an undeniable reality. The resulting disruptions increasingly affect our respective members and communities, calling for new solutions. Due to their focus on collective value, collective enterprises are undeniable contributors to the adoption of innovative and sustainable practices and adaptation to the climate crisis. Innovation, leadership, and setting an example are essential!

    In conclusion, innovation is the key to navigating through the ongoing revolutions. Collective enterprises play a role in this innovation, and those that embrace it have and will have a distinct advantage in responding to the needs of their members.

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