Graduate School of Banking

Educating Professionals, Creating Leaders

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GSB 75th Homecoming – Curriculum
"Celebrate Innovation!"

August 4-7, 2019
Madison, WI
Enrollment Open Until Program Reaches Capacity; Hotel Room Block Expires July 3

Attendees have the option of attending the core 3-day program (Monday thru Wednesday morning) or extending their stay and taking advantage of a deeply discounted two-day bonus option (Wednesday afternoon thru Friday morning) where you can attend top-rated sessions with other GSB faculty and also customize your program by participating in a few elective courses with current GSB students. See a detailed daily schedule here

In addition to the courses below particpants will also have the opportunity to network with more than 600 bankers on campus, plus representatives from the GSB Banker Advisory Board and our participating state association education directors -- and to attend the GSB student picnic and the Distinguished Speaker Series presentation by Ken Schmidt, former Harley Davidson executive who'll share his insights on how to Make Some Noise for your bank and its brand.

Core 3-Day Program

Participants will be facilitated through structured discussions and exercises that are designed to help them frame the key issues, develop a deeper understanding of the tradeoffs, and have critical innovative and strategic discussions. You will have hands-on practice with modern tools and methods so you can return to your bank with new tools and tactics to help you not only extend and defend your core business, but also to create viable competitive options for the future.

  • Incorporating Innovation Into Your Bank’s Strategic Plan

    JP Nicols, FinTech Forge

    • Thriving In An Era of Digital Disruption
      From the digital arms race within the industry to the encroachment from large tech platforms, to innovative fintech companies, the nature of competition in banking is changing rapidly and dramatically. Learn how to not only survive, but to thrive, in this immersive, hands-on session.

      • Innovation as an empirical approach to value creation
      • Modern agile business methods in a highly regulated environment
      • A portfolio approach to innovation
    • FIRE Session (Fast, Iterative, Responsive Experiments)
      Building on the first session, this class combines the best parts of modern agile business methods – like lean, agile, scrum, design thinking and others – into an effective and repeatable process that focuses on the things that really matter. Best of all, it gets results fast. We will put to work those new skills and strategies as we quickly test and learn with some new ideas.

      • Framing the experiment for maximum learning
      • Pains, Gains, and Jobs to be Done
      • FIRE Breaks for risk management
    • Leadership in the Digital Age
      A capstone session designed to help attendees pull the entire program together and take their learning back to their organizations.

      • Building the "Alloy Organization": balancing strength with flexibility
      • Frameworks for funding, governance, and risk management
      • Overcoming the practical limitations of strategic planning in a rapidly changing environment
      • Leading through changes great and small
  • 5 Strategies Most Important for Long Term Survival…and Top Quartile Performance!

    Terry Saber, Saber Advisory Group

    To “stay in the game”, sustainable profitable growth remains a “must-do!” Innovative strategies demand change, new ways of thinking and creative solutions to ongoing challenges of competing for customers, talent and leadership. How community banks think about such challenges requires taking a hard look at whether the strategies in your strategic plan are aligned with the realities of competition in a world turned upside down by the likes of Amazon, Zelle and data analytics.

  • Economic Update

    Jim Johannes, University of Wisconsin-Madison

    Jim Johannes, one of GSB’s most popular and highest-rated faculty members for over three decades, will join us for an enlightening economic update during lunch on the first day of the program. Jim’s insightful look at today’s economy and what’s on the horizon has had GSB students asking for more time with him at each and every session. This is your opportunity to hear from one of the banking industry’s best economic experts.


Two-Day Bonus Option

Attendees of the core 3-day program above are invited to extend their stay in Madison and participate in additional core and elective courses. Additional core courses include:

  • Banking Your Most Profitable Client- the Closely-Held Business

    Steve LeFever, Profit Mastery

    Successfully differentiating your bank in the highly competitive business banking landscape takes creative thinking and new strategies. For over two decades, Steve LeFever has been a top-rated faculty member at GSB because his unique insights and approaches to the independent business market are powerful, practical, and immediately applicable. He has worked with dozens of banks - both large and small - to deliver an “education-based marketing’ approach to create unprecedented results and market differentiation. In this timely bonus session, Steve will employ a case-study approach to illustrate the market opportunities for commercial banks in today’s hyper-competitive marketplace, and his dynamic, laugh-out-loud style will create an engaging, effective, and on-target experience for all.

  • A Look At The Digital Evolution and What’s Ahead

    Eric Cook, WSI Digital Marketing

    When 2003 GSB graduate Eric Cook arrived in Madison in 2001, the Internet was still in its infancy. This was well before anyone had even heard of sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, or YouTube and the concept of a live-streaming video chat with family back home while walking back to your dorm room was unheard of. Fast-forward to today, and all that’s changed. While you may debate whether or not the increased utilization of technology and social media is a good or bad thing, the reality is it’s become part of our lives. During this session, Eric will share many of the tools he’s using to connect and engage with his clients and community, and how you can do the same for your bank and those you serve. The goal is to leave you inspired about what’s possible and excited to develop your own personal digital strategy, realizing it’s not as difficult as you might have thought.

  • Elective Courses

    Each Bonus Option attendee will be able to select two electives from topics like the following:

    • Cash Management: How Sales, Operations & Technology Can Work Together to Generate More Fee Income
    • Creating Lifetime Bank to Business Partnerships Through Trust, Value and Resource Management
    • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High
    • Leading More Successful Projects
    • Managing Security Risk in Banking
    • Payment Systems and Fraud Loss Allocation
    • Retail Banking for Growth and Profitability
    • Strategically Managing the Investment Portfolio for Long-Term Performance
    • Successful Social Media Strategies for Today’s Community Banker
    • Testing Your Cybersecurity Incident Response Plan
    • Total Compensation Strategies
    • Understanding and Managing Option Risk