Wolves, Risk, and Banking

Banks Blaze Trails by Taking Risk

Another one of those Dan’s New Leaf Posts, meant to inspire thought about IT Governance . . . .

Well, I am fully into my new role as speaker, writer and coach. I want to start posting at least once a week and for my first weekly post I am going to remind everybody as to why I have always been loyal to Community Banks, especially those who are members of the Indiana Bankers Association.

A couple of years ago, we were helping Tanvee Dhir get settled into her new career here at infotex. In our attempt to help her learn her way around West Lafayette, Indiana, we invited her to Wolf Park. Located in a bedroom community just outside of West Lafayette, called Battleground, this amazing park is where scientists from Purdue University study wolves, and their societal habits.

Tanvee brought her cousin and we all had a good time getting to know each other.  During the wolf howl session, a really good conversation was struck up between the audience and one of the scientists, who explained why she studied the wolves at Wolf Park.   The discussion went into the notion that wolves are nearing extinction.  They were peppered with questions from audience members as young as eight, and as old as 60.  We learned about the way the wolves hunted their food in teams, how they were great family animals, and the difference between wolves and coyotes.

A young girl had asked why she always hears coyotes howling, but she never hears wolves howling.   The answer reminded me of banking.

Whereas coyotes are thriving in our modern ecosystem, wolves cannot.   The main reason?  Coyotes are willing to take risk, and while they do die more often, their surviving families are the beneficiaries of the reward that is realized from risk.

man in suit with tie holding microphone
Dan Hadaway Founder, infotex

Because the coyote chases the rabbit where they can also smell the scent of humans, they catch more rabbits.

This reminds me so much of the decision that many American community bankers made back in 2001 – 2004.   The Indiana community banker was no exception.  I was there, when Joe DeHaven recognized that Information Security was important in the way banks could give back to their communities.   And Joe was there, cheering us all on, when we decided to assume (and manage) the risk created when we put our transactions on the internet.   Our Clients range in risk appetite from innovators to laggards, and we’re proud that one of our Clients was on the internet in 1999.  But even the “laggards” were taking and properly managing more risk than any other industry… long before 2010.

Where the coyote risks getting hit by cars to feed their community, bankers risked getting hacked by wolves, to serve their community.   And thank goodness- now Americans, as well as bankers all over the world, are the beneficiaries.

Original article by Dan Hadaway CRISC CISA CISM. Founder and Managing Partner, infotex

Dan’s New Leaf” is a “fun blog to inspire thought in the area of IT Governance.”



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