The annual WBA Bank Executives Conference is the largest gathering of bank leaders in the state, bringing together roughly 300 bank CEOs and executives each year. This year, when these industry leaders gather in Madison, they’ll hear a session geared toward helping them transform their banks and prepare for a disruptive future. The presentation, The Future of Work Today: Insights From the New World of Work, will be led by Seth Mattison, workforce strategist and management trend-spotter with FutureSight Labs.

Mattison provided WBA with a glimpse into what his presentation will cover, starting with the overwhelming amount of disruption the industry’s leaders face today. “At no time in history have leaders been responsible for shepherding their organization through more disruptive forces,” said Mattison. Technology, shifting consumer expectations, evolving generational and relationship dynamics, and volatile political, economic, and regulatory landscapes have coalesced to create an era of unprecedented change.

Despite these changes in the demands placed on leaders, the way most leaders approach their role has not altered much in response, and neither have the tools they use. The processes and policies implemented and company culture fostered at many organizations have not evolved along with the requirements for success and relevance. “The challenge for leaders today is to become aware of where traditional structures, systems, and ideologies serve them and where they are holding the organization back from embracing change and transformation,” said Mattison. “Successfully navigating the challenge of thriving in what is two very different worlds is the mandate of the modern-day leader.”

One traditional tool that no longer works: using past success as a guide. Unfortunately, the past is no longer a guaranteed predictor of future results, Mattison explained. Because of that, today’s industry leaders face a difficult dichotomy. “Organizations and leaders are being forced to execute and perform today while simultaneously maintaining the discipline to reinvent themselves for a very different future,” said Mattison. It’s not an easy task to lead an organization while being pulled in two directions! Ultimately, Mattison says leaders must embrace change in order to guide their bank successfully into the future: “Bottom-line: while there are many timeless leadership virtues we must embrace, there is a new portfolio of beliefs, habits, skills, and competencies needed to be a high-impact high-performance leader today.”

It is clear businesses must adapt in order to thrive in today’s new world—and that starts with their leaders. However, that is easier said than done. “As humans, we hate change,” Mattison said. “It’s scary. It’s uncomfortable, and it’s downright hard.” During his presentation at the annual conference, Mattison will provide research-based insights into what changes are coming next along with two key ideas to inspire leaders to tackle those changes head-on. First, the internal shift in leaders is the most important change, and must come before any external adaptations—such as to processes, technologies, or physical structures—can be made. Second, change takes courage and as a leader, you’ve already demonstrated that you’re courageous enough to face a massive amount of disruption on a daily basis. “I don’t think we talk enough about the importance of courage today or the fact that the amount of change we’re navigating requires individuals to be brave,” said Mattison. During his presentation, he’ll encourage attendees to “flex that courage muscle” so they can experience the satisfaction of learning and trying new things. “I want to equip people with a new framework to think about the changes they’re navigating in their world, and I want to inspire them to be courageous enough to continue to evolve and ultimately find joy in their work,” he said.

In addition to intriguing data and helpful action items, conference attendees can also expect some entertainment during Mattison’s presentation. He is a big believer in engagement and capturing an audience’s attention. His session at the conference will not only illuminate the new demands and challenges for today’s leaders, but do so through captivating stories, rich media, thought-provoking data points, and discussion prompts. Attendees will gain practical, actionable tools they can use to impact their organizations immediately, and, with any luck, have a little fun along the way.

Visit www.wisbank.com/BEC for more information about this and other exciting Bank Execs sessions or to register online!