Community Bankers Lead Forward

Adrenaline’s Leadership-in-a-Box workshop challenged community bankers to create and customize their own universal experience

For the fifth year, ICBA’s LEAD FWD Summit focused on empowering community banking’s dynamic leaders. This year’s conference in St. Louis on November 6 and 7 created sessions to engage community bankers in solving some of their organization’s most pressing challenges. Adrenaline’s Leadership-in-a-Box Challenge: Creating Your Own Universal Banker Strategy established a format for lively discussion and ideation among participants. 

Facilitated by President, Sean Keathley, Chief Experience Officer, Gina Bleedorn, and Managing Director, Eduardo Alvarez, the workshop was designed for customization, because every bank is on a different step in the customer journey process. The format was organized with a primer laying out concepts in the first 30 minutes, then putting the participants to work on creating solutions for their bank’s unique situation. The upfront addressed the “why” of the universal experience, incorporating current data and trends.

ICBA Lead FWD Presentation

Using the World Café Method, the hands-on section was focused around the “how” of deploying a universal experience. The World Café method is an intuitive model that supports facilitating a large group dialogue, building meaningful takeaways among groups. In three rounds of ten minutes each, the banker groups – organized by asset size – moved from table to table and incorporated the previous group’s discoveries into their thinking, discussions and solutions. 

ICBA Lead FWD Presentation 4

Eduardo Alvarez says, “With the World Café method, we wanted a dynamic process that allowed for foundational learning and discovery. The process ensured that all the participants addressed a different set of challenges at each station. In the end, everyone was able to develop creative problem-solving techniques, brainstorm ideas and take home some inspired solutions. Regardless of asset size, I found the level of engagement inspiring, shining a light on the next-generation leaders in community banking.”

ICBA Lead FWD Presentation 3

The final element of a workshop involved participants developing their own learning journey map to identify skills, behaviors and knowledge as it applied to each zone: engage, transact and consult. This is where all of the workshop activities come together through identifying what skills and training staff members need to have in those zones to maximize the experience in each area. This provided actionable intelligence and a tailored template to take back to their banks. 

ICBA Lead FWD Presentation 2

With high expectations for a high-touch, high-tech experiences, consumer-demand in banking has never been higher. Creating an experience that helps banks meet consumer expectation with a flexible, sustainable approach is the key to success for banks and consumers, alike. That’s not to say that the shift is easy, as there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Each bank must develop their own approach to creating a universal experience that ties together brand, technology, people, place, and processes. 


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