Upon returning home to Pittsburgh from my visit to Scottsdale, AZ for the PA Bankers Convention of 2022, I had some time to reflect on my time amongst some great leaders in the great banking industry of Pennsylvania.
Echelon is proud to be an PA Bankers Associate Member and I am grateful for the lasting relationship that I’ve had with the PA Bankers Association. The opportunity to attend and participate in the convention is a treat that I look forward to each year.
First things first, I have to admit that I love how the PA Bankers convention planning committee selects new and unique locations every year. Getting outside of our normal environment allows us to open our minds and think differently. This retreat-style approach is necessary to help evolve, especially in the world we live in today.
If I had to sum up the theme of this years’ event, it must be one of resilience, diversity and transformation. The most constant thing in this world is change, and this presents challenges that require resilient leaders to embrace change, especially in banking. The convention proved to me that the future of banking has never been brighter.
Here are my top three takeaways from the event:
Cybersecurity remains a key concern
Nearly every bank leader that I spoke with highlighted concerns around cybersecurity and how they are looking for new and unique ways to continue to mitigate threats. Banks are, and always will be, juicy targets for criminals.
The rise of global tensions and the work from home era continue to place pressure on already overloaded IT staff. Regulators continue to push the bar for banks to raise their level of cyber resiliency and it is our obligation to protect the privacy and security of every customer’s data.
Get creative and give people chances
Former major league pitcher Jim Abbott talked to us about how creativity, passion and care not only create opportunities and but inspire future leaders. Born with one hand, Jim Abbott credited his early coach’s creativity and compassion that allowed him to not just play but thrive in baseball and football from an early age.
We need to use these same principles in the boardroom to inspire and upskill young leaders in our own organization. Our own creative investments in our people can help us win the current unprecedented war on top talent.
Cultivate diversity at all levels
One of the common threads throughout the weekend was how we need to build in resilience at all levels of the organization. This resilience is enabled by diversity of thought, which must come from diversity of race, gender, age and more.
Promoting fairness and inclusion at all levels of our organizations – as well as cultivating the conditions necessary to identify, develop, and nurture this diverse talent – will not only allow us to be better organizations, but the communities we serve will be benefit immensely.
Getting out and spending a fantastic weekend amongst the most influential banking leaders in the state is always a great way to get inspired and feel refreshed. I look forward to continuing the dialogue and hope to see you at any upcoming events.