Welcome to New Orleans


New inspirations, fresh experiences await at ICBA’s national convention

Welcome to the Crescent City, where the largest educational gathering of community bankers convenes this month.

It’s Community Banking LIVE 2016 in New Orleans. ICBA’s national convention offers an educational lineup this year of more than 60 workshops and networking sessions. Along with an expanded lineup of general session presentations, more than 200 companies will be exhibiting at Expo to discuss the industry’s latest product and service innovations.

If you are not able to attend this year’s event, follow the convention online at ICBA’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/icbaorg, on Twitter with the hashtag #ICBALive16 or on ICBA’s convention Web page at www.icba.org/convention2016.

Get ready to learn, interact with your professional peers and be rejuvenated!

General Session Speakers

Jack Hartings
ICBA Chairman,
and President and CEO
The Peoples Bank Co.
Coldwater, Ohio

Josh Linkner
Tech entrepreneur and New York Times bestselling author on business creativity, innovation and reinvention

Rebeca Romero Rainey
ICBA Chairman-Elect, and Chairman and CEO
Centinel Bank of Taos
Taos, N.M.

John Stossel
Fox Business Network host and commentator, award-winning broadcast journalist

Camden Fine
President and CEO
Independent Community Bankers of America

Tony La Russa
Former Major League Baseball player and manager, chief baseball officer for the Arizona Diamondbacks

Schedule at a Glance

Sunday, March 6

  • Registration/Banquet Reservations Desk
  • Bank Director Current Issues**
  • First-Time Attendee Orientation
  • Expo Open
  • Welcome Reception in Expo

Monday, March 7

  • Registration/Banquet Reservations Desk
  • Concurrent Workshops
  • Tour Desk
  • General Session
  • Expo Open
  • Lunch with Exhibitors in Expo
  • State/Regional Partners Reception*
  • Roundtable Discussions
  • State/Regional Affiliate Associations & Exhibitor Receptions*

Tuesday, March 8

  • Registration/Banquet Reservations Desk
  • Concurrent Workshops
  • General Session
  • Regulators Luncheon*
  • ICBPAC-VIP Champagne Reception and Auction Preview**
  • 27th Annual ICBPAC Silent Auction Fundraiser**

Wednesday, March 9

  • Attendee Registration/Banquet Reservations Desk
  • Concurrent Workshops
  • Final General Session
  • Chairman’s Reception
  • Annual Banquet
  • Stage Show Featuring The
  • Pink Flamingos

*By invitation
**Additional registration fees required

The Latest LIVE Info

For the most current information about Community Banking LIVE 2016
in New Orleans, visit www.icba.org/convention2016.

Tech entrepreneur Josh Linkner on reinvention

For Josh Linkner, creativity and innovation are the lifeblood of all human progress. As a four-time technology entrepreneur, Linkner has walked the innovation walk. As a New York Times bestselling author on business creativity and technology innovation, he’s now talking about the walk.

Linkner is a featured general session speaker at Community Banking Live 2016 in New Orleans. He believes the riskiest move companies can make is to cling to the status quo. Independent Banker recently caught up with him to discuss his ideas.

IB: What is creative disruption? A lot of people are using that term. What does it mean to you?

Linkner: To me, it’s a letting go of the past in favor of the possibilities. To me, creative disruption is having the courage and imagination to do things in a fresh way, that perhaps is not an approved way.

Too often we think of innovation or creative disruption as these giant breakthroughs, like how Uber changed the cab industry. Yes, that is creative disruption. But it doesn’t have to be that scaled to be disruptive. It doesn’t have to only be the big stuff. In fact, very often it’s more within the arm’s reach of people at all levels of organization.

IB: What’s the main message in your book, “The Road to Reinvention”?

Linkner: That reinventing is no longer optional. You either disrupt or be disrupted.

The book prioritizes the need for reinvention. What I’ve tried to do in that book is help folks break it down to make it as a systematic, everyday kind of process rather than a once-a-decade, bet-the-farm initiative.

The idea in the book is, how do you reinvent early and often? How do you reinvent from a position of strength rather than having to do a turnaround when things go wrong? And how do you reinvent all aspects of your business, not just your product or service but on a continuous basis?

IB: Where is corporate reinvention heading?

Linkner: So often when we think about innovation, people gravitate toward product innovation. Because of the regulatory environment that we’re in, there may not be as much room for creative expression. To me, the key point is not being discouraged by that so you don’t avoid looking for other ways, other paths for creative disruption.

One thing I think is really important for community banks is customer experience. If I was going to focus on an attribute, that may be it. It’s a real opportunity to separate from the competitive herd.

I’m from Detroit: Henry Ford came out with the Model T and said, “Look, you can have any color you want as long as it’s black.” The whole idea behind that was he wasn’t competing on the design or anything; he was only competing on function—that the product works.

Now the customer expectation is for not only function but design. The competitive battleground has now shifted to experience. In other words, we expect our products to work. So we want our checking accounts to be FDIC insured. We don’t want to have missteps in technology. We expect our banking products to work, but we also want them to be beautifully designed. We want to have easy access to our online accounts, we want our credit cards to be beautiful, et cetera.

But what happens next? Creating emotionally charged, dramatic customer experiences can be a real platform for competitive differentiation and a real platform for creative expression for community banks.

IB: What should community bankers be thinking about in terms of customer experience?

Linkner: Think about all the touchpoints with a normal banking experience. From where you park to when you wait in line to the interaction with the teller—what does the bank do? Apply a five-senses test: What does that experience look like, sound like, smell like, taste like, feel like?

If you think about it, for the vast majority of retail banking institutions, they’re nearly identical. I don’t mean to be discouraging, but they’re nearly identical. Same mahogany desk, same walk-up teller. Where I’ve seen cases that have been really interesting is when people have shattered that mold. … I do think there’s an opportunity to sort of look at what everyone else is doing and ask yourselves, what would the opposite look like? How could I create an experience that stood out rather than blended in?

IB: What steps should community banks consider taking?

Linkner: One failure across this, and not just in banks, is when companies try to be all things to all people. Basically you end up being nothing to no one. I think a more prudent strategy as a community bank would be to determine how could I focus on a certain percent of my customers and absolutely delight them—tailor products, services and experiences that are over-the-top meeting their needs?

Instead of trying to be all things to all people, have a smaller subset of those people who truly fall in love with you.

IB: Let me push back on that a little bit. Most community banks make a living serving their entire communities. Can they truly become niche financial service players only?

Linkner: I say great, serving a local community can be the focal point then. That can become the opportunity to really soar. The point is this: tailoring your offering to your specific customer base. In this case, it is that local community.

My only concern is limited resources—and by the way, we all have limited resources whether it’s money or time or people or bandwidth or whatever else. If you try to do it all, you can end up being mediocre in everything instead of being great at a smaller number of things.

IB: Community bankers are the world’s best risk managers. How should they balance innovation with their need to manage risk?

Linkner: People think it’s either take no risk or innovate. That’s not the way to look at it. I think taking no risk and not innovating is hugely risky. People tend to overestimate the security of the status quo.

On the other hand, I’m not in favor of bet-the-farm risks or changes for the sake of changing. I’m in favor of lots of little experiments that are constantly underway that are being measured and tracked and proved. So if you have a new idea on how to service your customers, instead of making an entire change to the whole bank all at once, try it with 10 customers. Get their feedback. Refine it. If it works, great; do more of it. If it doesn’t work, apologize and move on.