Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Invest in Next-Gen Bankers ... and Yourself

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

Invest in Next-Gen Bankers ... and Yourself

Article excerpt

The best-run organizations--those that last past one business generation--develop a deep talent pool. They identify and encourage people who show initiative and talent. They train them and they communicate the organization's mission and values.

The same holds true for an industry. Smart bank leaders will encourage promising junior officers and managers to participate in state and national trade groups. The experience always pays off. Yet, all too often management discourages such activity, preferring to have employees concentrate on their jobs. It's an understandable reaction, particularly in recent times when banks are challenged on so many fronts. Still, it is shortsighted.

Here are some of the benefits of encouraging employee involvement in industry events:

* Better educated about industry issues. Bankers who understand what the industry is up against can factor that into how they do their work. (Knowing what regulators are focusing on, for example, can help shape product design). Also, engaged bankers are better able to correct misconceptions among customers, friends, and family ... not to mention themselves.

* Meet peers and share ideas. Part of every banker meeting--even those devoted mainly to policy issues--is the chance to "talk shop" and exchange business cards. Nobody attends one of these meetings without coming back with something useful.

* Become part of an industry. When the meetings are policy oriented, such as ABA's Government Relations Summit held in Washington last month, everyone attending, but particularly newcomers and up-and-comers, develops a better sense of being part of something larger: part of a profession, an industry--not just one organization, or one community. …

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