A- A+

Banno CEO Articulates the Keys to a Successful Tech Culture

Insights on Retaining Top Talent

"We are headed for a talent war," Mike Colwell, Executive Director of the Business Innovation Zone, warned at the outset of the June BIZ luncheon and networking session. "The battle for talented technologists is heating up and it is going to become intense. Not just the battle to hire them, but even more importantly, the battle to retain them.

So I've asked Wade to share some insights into his extraordinary success at both," he explained by way of introduction of Wade Arnold. Arnold is the CEO of Banno, a pioneer provider of technology services for the financial industry and an internationally acclaimed software-as-a-service company nestled amidst the tall corn in Cedar Falls, Iowa.

A self-described freak of nature in that he is both an impassioned geek and an extrovert, to say nothing of a married father of three, Arnold spent the next hour telling a full house of bankers, geeks, entrepreneurs and managers his formula that has seen talent lining up to call his little patch of the silicon prairie home at the rate of nearly 100 applicants a month. 

Proclaiming himself primarily to be a "Curator of Culture" and a "Disseminator of Vision" Arnold explained that the key is to align individuals' work with their passion in order to secure their 100 percent commitment. He argued this is particularly true of the technologists who are the innovators and creators that are most in demand and who tend to be, as he would remind the audience throughout his presentation, "introverted geeks."

Square One DSM, an initiative of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, is formerly known as Business Innovation Zone (BIZ).