Archive for July, 2013

The question every bank should ask itself is: “Am I a creator or a remover of friction?”

John Hagel hit the nail on the head in a recent Harvard Business Review blog post: The cost and difficulty of coordinating activities across entities, on a global scale, is far lower now.” Today’s hyper-connectivity not only makes it possible to coordinate across entities in a more efficient way, it also causes a deep disintermediation of players that were able to maintain their monopolies through sheer scale and power.

A really good example of this is Uber.com, the well-publicized peer-to-peer limousine and taxi service directly connecting drivers and customers, disintermediating completely the dispatching taxi companies that proved to be the friction in the system.

The same phenomenon is now happening everywhere, including in banking, as we see the advent of more peer-to-peer (mobile) payment systems.

Besides disintermediation, we have disintegration. What we witness is the end of highly vertically integrated organizations, and the birth of organizations whose chief strength is to pick and choose best-in-class functionality from outsiders and mix and match those with their own internal world-class capabilities. For that to happen, you need a decomposition of previously highly integrated functions into smaller chunks (for example risk management, payments, securities, reference data, even identity and trust) and the ability to expose those functions through application programming interfaces. Externalizing your core competencies has become an economic imperative.

Sean Park from the Anthemis Group suggested all this five years ago. Back then, you still could create a competitive advantage with these methods. Today you are a plain loser if you do not have this in place yet.

So if all this is commonplace, what’s the next big disruption? In my opinion it’s peer-to-peer, the ability of two or more entities to share data and do business without a central orchestrator. P2P changes everything. It changes product and service offerings, it changes how companies are organized; it fundamentally changes the business models we are used to. This is very quickly leading to a “fragmentation of everything”: the fragmentation of work, of applications, of hierarchies, of states.


To illustrate how deep the change is, I’d like to use the metaphor of a camel in the ocean. The camel is the bank, and the water is data. Until now, the camel was carrying its own water through the desert. Now the camel is in the ocean, surrounded by data. We will require a new kind of species that can survive in this data ocean, can cope with the advent of trillions of nodes on the grid, all hyper-connected, hyper-fragmented and 100% distributed.

The world needs a new kind of bank, way beyond a money-bank, probably a “trusted data bank” that can help human beings store, change and transact data, and in doing so create new authentic value. Not just gimmicks, tricks, quick wins, or dirty fixes.

We seem to live in a “perpetual crisis,” jumping from one incident to another, where there is no room anymore for building a story with a beginning, middle, and an end; no room for reflection, no room to assess and, like a surfer, scan the waves of change on the surface of the data ocean. It’s like the camel is under water, drowning in tactics and ad-hoc firefighting, incapable of interpreting the tsunami of change.

The world enters a level of complexity that cannot be addressed anymore by conventional, binary, linear thinking. We need new tools, capabilities, and more non-linear ways of thinking, to be prepared to open up for more options. These new tools are about forecasting and assessing in different ways, deciding our options in different ways, ambitious design thinking with focus on what needs to be achieved versus what is the problem to be solved, and richer ways of expressing our options through visual thinking and other techniques.

This is way beyond the flashy designs of hyper-tech branches and “punchy-music-cool-sexy” apps or product videos.

The bank of the future is a humanizing bank,

where “I am not my device” and where the focus is on relationships, intimacy, depth, and human connection – supported by technology. It’s about deep human behavior, about deep culture change. But that does not happen through top-down instruction. What is needed is viral change at scale of specific behaviors, seeded and nurtured bottom-up from deep within the fabric of the organization.

Behavior creates culture,

and not the other way around.

Cross-posted on American Banker

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Cross-Posted from Innotribe.com > original blog post by Dominik Debuyser @ddebuyser from the Innotribe Team

It’s the fifth year of our flagship ‘Innotribe at Sibos’ event, we’ve decided to do things a little differently.

Our theme? There is light at the end of the tunnel’, and with an actual tunnel to travel down to enter our space in Dubai, we’ve designed our programme like a metro map.

Just like the underground or subway, it’s up to you to decide which “track” to follow, depending on your expertise, interests, learning objectives, and availability.

Our metro-map is an overview of the different tracks available; “toolkits” are practical sessions where you’ll learn new methods of thinking; in other sessions  you’ll be able to apply the new techniques you’ve learned. It’s your journey, so you can hop on and off the Innotribe train at specific switching stations of your choice.

Value track

The Value track will explore different aspects of the great value discussion

  • What is wealth beyond money?
  • Can everything be measured?
  • And are we even measuring the right things?
  • Can we valuate companies based on their intangible assets?

We will look at different dimensions impacting traditional banking business models, ending with being part of an amazing life research project to crowdsource wellbeing.

Innovation track

With sessions that offer deep insights into what is happening in the world of innovation, moving away from polarizing discussions such as open vs closed, incremental vs disruptive, the Innovation track will explore what else is out there beyond open innovation.

The track ends on Thursday morning with a selection of “Power Talks” illustrating how new players are already significantly disrupting banking – and not just the fringes of our industry, but already heading for the core with early signs of scale.

We’re not talking about the distant future, but what’s happening right now!

Practice track

The world has entered a level of complexity that cannot be addressed anymore by conventional, binary and linear thinking. We need new tools, capabilities, and ways of thinking. We need to prepare, plan and be open to new options. These new tools are about forecasting, assessing, and making decisions in different ways, ambitious design thinking with focus on what needs to be achieved, and richer ways of expressing our options through visual thinking and other techniques.

Sessions labelled as “toolkits” in the Practice track are practical sessions to really get ‘hands on’ with these new methods of thinking.

Big Data track

Big Data is an industry trend that we’ve been monitoring for some time now. People, businesses and devices are hyper-connected through highly pervasive networks, creating unimaginable amounts of information.

What if we could tap into the intelligence and insights buried in these networks to devise better strategies for growth? This new environment will require extraordinary insight and adaptability.

This time, we’ll explore how you and your organisation can derive new insights  through Network Analytics  from all the data that surrounds us.

The Startup Challenge Finale

The Innotribe Startup Challenge 2013 introduces the world’s most promising FinTech and Financial Service startups to the global community of financial institutions, venture capitalists, angels and influencers actively investing in innovation.

It is the Grand Finale of Innotribe’s 2013 regional challenges in the Americas, EMEA and APAC.  The ten winning startups and five innovators, selected from hundreds of interesting candidates, will compete in front of a live audience and professional panel of judges for a cash prize of 50,000 USD.

Awe, suspense and excitement guaranteed!

Culmination track

All of the tracks lead to the same destination –  the Innotribe Closing Plenary, during which we’ll create a unique ‘campfire’ moment to gather and share our key learnings of the week; what we like and dislike, and which topics should be explored further.
With interactive sessions, immersive learning, mini-talks, demos and more, join us at Innotribe at Sibos to co-discover, co-create and co-deliver solutions for our future.


Innotribe@Sibos2013 Agenda

Download the PDF version of the metro map here

Are you getting excited yet?
‘Cause we are!

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It’s been five years since we launched Innotribe@Sibos, and once again we have put together a comprehensive programme; a spectacular series of memorable, highly-interactive immersive learning experiences.

This year, we’re taking a slightly different approach, by moving away from presenting topics to building actual capabilities. The reality and speed of change in our industry needs new ways of thinking, so we’ll help you adapt, address and respond to situations which simply cannot be tackled using traditional linear thinking. It’s time to move beyond polarizing conversations to providing a forum for critical dialogue, leading to a richer set of choices and better decision-making.

Our 2013 Innotribe program introduces the concept of “journeys”.  Just like the metro or underground, you can build your “journey” along different coloured lines or tracks, depending on your expertise, interests, learning objectives, and availability. The Innotribe metro-map gives you an overview of the different tracks available; sessions labelled as “toolkits” are practical sessions to learn new methods of thinking, and in other sessions you can apply the knowledge and methods you’ve learned to our industry. It’s your journey, so you can hop on and off the Innotribe train at specific switching stations of your choice.


Set just off the concord, the main thoroughfare between the exhibition and conference rooms, the Innotribe Space will be accessible through a long tunnel. This stand-alone tunnel will submerge you in a lively, cool, artsy atmosphere with a whole range of content linked to the sessions taking place in the Innotribe space.

The tunnel will also serve as a backdrop to various installations showing advanced applications such as augmented reality, context-aware spaces and much more. Each day will have a different theme using visuals, music and artistic styles to create unique atmospheres. We’ll have live performances (music) and art installations, and during the breaks, you’ll be able to listen to short sessions, power talks or demos. The Innotribe Space itself feels like a “studio”, especially designed to co-discover, co-create and co-deliver solutions for our future.

Our program would not be complete without the third edition of the Innotribe Startup Challenge 2013 and a tribal closing session “around the campfire”.

With your help, we can make this year’s slogan “There is light at the end of the tunnel” a reality. Come, join us, and help us shape a new future at Sibos in Dubai.

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