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Expecting the Unexpected

Ken Thompson HeadshotBy Kenneth D. Thompson

As bankers, our unique position both in our economy and in our community shows us a widened perspective of our daily lives. Jack Uldrich, leading global futurist and author, shared with Wisconsin’s banking leaders during his keynote session at WBA’s annual Bank Executive Conference in Wisconsin Dells that today is the slowest rate of change that we will ever experience again.

Whether we realize it or not, the COVID-19 pandemic has launched us into the future. As our world continues to evolve and community banks lead efforts in digital and technological expansion, the next ten years are becoming increasingly difficult to predict. What once was an “unconventional” practice, is quickly becoming the new normal.

It is clear to me that community bankers are resilient no matter the circumstance. Wisconsin bankers are quite familiar with conducting business in the unfamiliar. Our ability to stay relevant has only strengthened among widespread technological advancement and bank mergers as well as our efforts in approaching PPP loans and growth in liquidity. We have quickly become a source of comfort for our communities during times of uncertainty — something I know each of us significantly values — and our ability to act fast in times of need is critical.

Uldrich advises that we continue to explore the unknown, take time to think further than today or tomorrow, and to always ask questions. Business as unusual means change, and I am thrilled to see how each of us rises to the occasion for the betterment of our communities time and time again.