Contextual Intelligence & the Future of Money

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(image from Michell Zappa with permission)

One of the most rewarding professional experiences I have had so far is being a speaker at Swift’s banking industry conference Sibos.  Every year Swift coordinates the premier conference on The Future of Money. They have been doing this since 1978 with 300 participants.

Today in Singapore there are over 7000 people from 140 countries discussing crypto-currency, financial technology called #fintech, and the future of banking. A small group of innovators inside of Swift called Innotribe are working to bring the most provocative voices in innovation to center stage providing fresh air to an industry that is moving towards a refreshed relevance. People will always need banking, they will not always need banks.

I am writing this post on the future of money to celebrate people I’ve been lucky enough to meet through Peter Vander Auwera @petervan  who is the primary concept designer for the Innotribe portion of Sibos.  This year’s platform was incredibly dynamic.

Here are people shaping the future of money that you should know:

Andrew Keen is one of the world’s best-known and controversial commentators on the digital revolution.He is the author of three books: Cult of the AmateurDigital Vertigo and his current international hit The Internet Is Not The Answer which the London Sunday Times acclaimed as a “powerful, frightening read” and the Washington Post called “an enormously useful primer for those of us concerned that online life isn’t as shiny as our digital avatars would like us to believe”.

Haydn Shaughnessy is an expert on disruption and platform requirements for competitive adaptation. A very important white paper written for Sibos most recently is a must read: The Platform for Disruption How China’s FinTech Will Change How the World Thinks About Banking.

Michell Zappa is a futurist and emerging technology expert. His company research Envisioning has written a robust anthology of the technological future of money.  While it takes several sleep cycles to comprehend it is an important read for anyone in the api landscape.

Chris Skinner author of The Digital Bank is working very hard across the globe to help bridge the digital divide in the banking industry. He specializes in helping traditional banks become better enabled for globalization and millennial participation. This seems a useful place to also add the 25 most innovative banks.

Christine Duhaime founder of Digital Finance Institute and Sam Maule of Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group have become rigorous in their focus on women in the financial technology landscape. There will be a billion women entering the workforce within the next decade and the entire economic landscape will change.

Ben Bledsoe reminds us that no story of money can be complete without mention of crypto-currency. This all began with The Rise & Rise of Bitcoin.

Michael Bauwens is a key driver for the collaborative economy and has been creating open source information even before open source became a meme.

There are two resources that are vital to your understanding of the transition from the need to have → toward the need to share → toward the need to give.

Here is a synthesis of the collaborative economy.

Here is a talk Michael gives on scenarios in the collaborative economy:

 

I met  Peter Vander Auwera on twitter in 2011. We decided there was synergy and made a point to meet IRL (in real life). That meeting changed the trajectory of my voice and professional career. I mention this as the final name I want to highlight from my experience with Innotribe is Peter Hinssen; expert on social networks and author of The Network Always Wins.

Building a culture of experimentation means implementing an attitude toward risk that will be necessary if we are to survive in a world in which strategy becomes fluid.

Cheers to Sibos Singapore! Cheers to Innotribe!

OsakaCheers

(Innotribe speaker alumni Michel Bauwens, Jennifer Sertl, Mark Pesce, and Guibert Englebienne)

The future of money still depends on brave and curious people making meaningful connections.

Onward,
Jennifer Sertl

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You will know me by my lists

 

Navigating Complexity – Hold onto Your Core!

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(Escalator ~ Copyright 1984 Scott Mutter used in this article with permission from Bob Mutter)

I am a pilgrim on the edge, on the edge of my perception.

We are travelers at the edge, we are always at the edge of our perception.

 ~ Scott Mutter

As I launch 2015, I am thinking of all the tools we will need to navigate change in these complex times. Having a discipline to journal is a tool that I want us all to sharpen. Some are intimidated by the idea of keeping a journal and don’t really know how to begin. Here are some ideas that I hope spark action and insight.

There is a deli in my office building that has several Scott Mutter prints. Recently I was eating lunch and writing in my journal I had a visceral experience of feeling the water at my feet and the tug of the current.  What is so poignant about Mutter’s image is that I believe we are all in an identity crisis: a crisis between nature and technology, a crisis between capitalism and collaboration, a crisis between big data and intuition, and finally, a crisis between influencer, seduction, and our own solo voice.

Poet E. E. Cummings says it beautifully: To be nobody but myself-in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make me somebody else – means to fight the hardest battle any human can fight, and never stop fighting. In the midst of so many tugs of war, abstract thinking, critical thinking, and introspection have never been more important muscles to strengthen.  A lot of money is being spent to have you feel emotions and buy things that have nothing to do with who you are at your core. In addition, as social creatures, we are deeply impacted by our fear of being judged or experiencing shame. Every choice you make, every word you use, every “like” or “RT” becomes a node on a grid telling a data story about who you are and what you care about. It is more important than ever that you know the story and claim it as your own.

Introspection is the sword you have to fight this battle. You must, by design, get to know yourself under the shell of saving face. There are many ways to practice and explore self-knowledge.  The practice that has offered me the most personal insight has been keeping a journal. I have been keeping a journal since I was eight years old – so it is a well-worn habit. There are three exercises I give my clients to help them build introspection and begin the discipline of journal writing.

  1. The first practice is called “Plus + /  Delta Δ”.  The discipline of “Plus +  /  Delta Δ” invites you to write, once a week, a situation that you are proud of – where you describe the situation (context), the task at hand (what you were required to do), the actions you took (choices you made), and the result. In this exercise you also write, once a week, a situation that you wished for a do-over. Thus the delta Δ – which is the symbol for change. You follow the same formula of describing the situation (context), the task at hand (what you were required to do), the actions you took (choices you made), and the result.  In addition you describe what you wished would have happened, and any choices that you could have made as an alternative, to create a different outcome. The premise here is that we are better and learning if we have a chance to celebrate and anchor what is working and why and also build in the capacity for scenario planning of alternative outcomes. Just because we have an experience, doesn’t mean we will learn from it. The discipline of “Plus +  /  Delta Δ” makes the learning explicit, accessible, and scalable for future preparation.
  1. The second practice is called “Recalibration.” “Recalibration” is a writing exercise that I suggest to individuals and companies when they are going through significant changes, feeling lost, or feeling overwhelmed. Like arrows in a quiver, these questions can provide wonderful guidance on how to sequence events and how to establish priorities:

Where have you been?

What have you learned?

Where are you going?

What is required?

As you can imagine, these questions can be answered on a page or may extend into a two day working strategy session within a company.

For those of you who need more structure I offer this guidance:

  • Where have you been? (7 observations about past landscape)
  • What have you learned? (10 bullet point lessons/scars and what you hope to remember going forward)
  • Where are you going? (7 observations about current/future landscape)
  • What is required?  (3 mental muscles you need to strengthen, 2 skills you must acquire, 3 resources you must engage)
  1. The third practice is called “Shadow Dancing.” “Shadow Dancing” is a discipline that requires a six week commitment to create 30 minutes a day of writing. The theory behind “Shadow Dancing” is that we each have very strong internal critics and we judge ourselves. Often what insights we may need or truths we may want to discover about ourselves may be deep, deep within our psyche. By creating a disciplined practice of writing over a long period of time – new thoughts, insights, and perspectives may come to the surface. In my post Individuation of Ideas  I suggest that having insight isn’t so much about being intelligent as it is about being present. Even if you don’t know what to say and write – create the space and time anyway. Write “I am bored” or “I have nothing to say,” again and again. Just preserve the time and write. Perhaps, in the disciplined presence, a great idea will have the stillness required to land.

In this era of information overload and complexity – the one thing that will stay constant is who you are at your core, what you value, and your own discernment. Please take the time, by design, to strengthen your own voice so that you can hear the wisdom of your intuition, anchor and reinforce learning from the past, and support your personal resolve against the seduction of the macro.

Here is a talk I gave to innovators for global event called Hatch A Better World where I go a bit deeper on self-protection in the midst of macro seduction.

 

Onward in the rigor,

Jennifer

Sertl2015

Contextual Intelligence & The Future of Work

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Your competitive advantage is not where you work or what you do.

Your competitive advantage is the accuracy in which you scan the macro environment and the way you interpret and articulate those observations.

Labor Day is a moment to pause and acknowledge all the the hard work that has built our nation and a celebration of economic vitality.

The best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing ~ President Theodore Roosevelt


I feel very lucky to have found my vocation ins building bridges between strategic intent and personal development. There has never been a better time than right now to integrate strategy, leadership and soul.

I often say, “you will know me by my links.” Here are my favorite to provide contextual intelligence for #TheFutureofWork.

Scanning the macro,
Jennifer

1) Perhaps the most important attribute we can take into the future is resilience. Andrew Zolli offers a framework that can be used both for life at home and at work:If You Want to Build Resilience, Kill the Complexity.

2) Many talk about the importance of learning and reading to stay current and sharp. Yet, I often look at people’s schedules and rarely have they built in time for processing information. How are we going to get better, stronger, smarter without built in capacity for learning? My friend Cameron Norman aka @cdnorman keeps us honest by asking How Serious Are We About Learning?

3) Our environment has much more impact on us than we’d like to accept. It is very important that you choose an environment where you own natural tendencies can thrive. John Hagel @jhagel from Deloitte is in the thick of corporate culture. Tracking and following the Shift Index is an important part of your staying current.

4) Data can be beautiful and informative. The Institute for the Future @iftf has created an elegant framework for leadership development. They don’t call it leadership development, but I do. It is time that each employee assume they are leaders and also that they are in charge of their own person development. “Global connectivity, smart machines, and new media are just some of the drivers reshaping how we think about work, what constitutes work, and the skills we will need to be productive contributors in the future.”

5) We cannot have work without an economy. It is a slippery slope when discussions of the economy often lead to politics. I am on the line here and this is as far as I’ll go. Bravely I want to make sure you are aware of Jeremy Rifkin@JeremyRifkin. His latest work is about zero marginal cost and how the collaborative economy is taking capitalism on. Our ability to compete is our ability to know the landscape. Rifkin is creating ripples that make take years for effect; however, important that you are in this conversation: The Fall of Capitalism and the Internet of Things.

6) By 2025, over 75% of the workforce will be comprised of millennials, a group many refer to as the Facebook generation. This group is much more dynamic than employee pools of the past. Because of lifestyle choices and the need for mobility, the employment group is much more likely to select projects to ensure elements of freedom: 8 Reasons Why Your Next Job Will Be A Project.

7) And if this freelance thing is not your cup o’ tea, I suggest you drink it longer to acquire the taste: The Freelance Surge is the Industrial Revolution of our Time.

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Given we are moving more and more toward freelance economy, it is even more important that we have self knowledge in what we care about, how we create value, and who we want to work with. I love this modern twist on Jim Collin’s Hedge Hog.

8) Skill trumps distance. With the amazing file share and video technology people can truly be global. Perhaps the most significant trend is the rise of the multinational employee: The Rise of Micro-Multinantional.

9) Because the smartest person in the room is the room, it is important that your curate and cultivate great relationships with individuals who you learn and grow with by design. Global collaboration is catching wildfire: The Future of Talent Lies In Clusters.

10) Einstein tells us, “The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.” There is one source, however, that I cannot keep a secret. Friend Ross Dawson@rossdawson is a visual architect that has given us the future of work in an icon that can teach, inform, frighten and inspire. YES, it really has this many dynamic parts.

Thanks for coming this far. You indeed will be rewarded.

Jennifer

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 The Bangles – Manic Monday