Leda Writes for Fintech Futures: a dose of Hegel, banking edition

Dr Leda Glyptis 11:FS Foundry CEO
5min read

Every Thursday, Leda Glyptis, CEO of 11:FS Foundry creates #LedaWrites. This week she waxes philosophical on achieving the right balance in banking.

In Hegel’s view, the essence of tragedy is conflict.

Not a moral conflict between right and wrong. But conflict between right and right.

A bit heavy for a Thursday morning?

And yet.

It sums up our lives and it’s time we face up to what it means in order to move forward.

A decade of false dichotomies

Those of us who have been in the game long enough, have been playing around with false dichotomies for what feels like a lifetime or two – either fighting them or succumbing to them to get things moving, things done, to get people on the same page.

Bank vs start-up.

Agility vs stability.

Scale vs flexibility.

Any techie would tell you the last two are nonsense and any business major would tell you the former is not useful as a heuristic tool. And yet. We have tried to find the differences between what we know, have and are and what is coming down the pipe. And for a very long time we tried desperately to vilify the new stuff as unstable, naive, non-scalable, not secure.

Even for the winners, the game is not over and that is the point

Some time with reason. Mostly not. And always with the ulterior motive of securing for ourselves the comfort of the moral high ground.

It’s ok.

It’s human.

It’s normal.

It didn’t work.

The world changed anyway. New technologies have completely removed the tension between scale, stability and security on the one side and agility, speed and modularity on the other.

As for the bank vs start-up malarkey, the startups who made it have achieved scale and now play a very different game, making the juxtaposition as laughable as it was redundant.

Zero sum games and unicorns

So what? I hear you ask.

We’ve been doing this wrong so far, that’s what.

We have been hoping to find winners. Be it finding winning strategies for our institutions at the expense of the “other” coming our way, or at least finding winning bets to back in order to hedge in the face of so much uncertainty. And there have been some victories. A few unicorns. Some amazing investments. The odd differentiating implementation. Some money has been made. Strides have been made.

And yet.

Even for those who found a unicorn, the story continues

Even for the winners, the game is not over and that is the point.

The winning bet was not a forever story. It was not a happily ever after, at the macro business level (for the individual millionaire it may well be a case of namaste and off to a tropical paradise, but that’s not the story I am interested in, much as I wish them well). There were no silver bullets, boys and girls. Even for those who found a unicorn, the story continues.

They scored a victory but they haven’t won in a way that means the effort is over. They haven’t triumphed. The ball is still in play.

Read the whole story at Fintech Futures.