Leda Writes for Fintech Futures: humanity 101

Dr Leda Glyptis 11:FS Foundry CEO
5min read

Every Thursday, Leda Glyptis, 11:FS Chief of Staff creates #LedaWrites. This week she turns her attention to humanity and why digital is doomed without it.

Warning, this one is emotional and personal. Avert your gaze if you were hoping for pithy industry commentary. Back to that next week.

I was mic-ed up and ready to go on stage at an industry event when I got a tentative text from my mum. “Can you talk?”

That is not a good text.

And when I called, the opening line was, “now don’t you go worrying, but…”. My dad was in intensive care.

Within seconds, David Brear and Jason Bates were standing next to me – where did they even come from – ready to divide and conquer, one to go on stage in my place while the other found me a cab to the airport, found my bag, my passport, some Kleenex, a hug and a kind word.

The 11:FS machine sprung into action with some magical reflex.

I know that my tendency to make everything about fintech is bordering on the obsessive but indulge me.

I have had the midnight call and tear-filled flight home before.

And let me tell you that dealing with transportation and flight reservations and train times and commitment schedules and life details when busy crying is not easy. Concentration is shot to pieces. Simple choices seem immense. The time to plan, inform and react is not moving at normal speed.

The help on a human level was like a balm.

Knowing I am blessed with love and support at home and at work is not something I take for granted. I haven’t always had this. I know how it is to be without.

If you have to think first, it’s too late.

But beyond the love and care, there is something else at work here.

Sure. I did use Slack and WhatsApp but, really, folks stepped in and did their thing without asking me a single question other than ‘how is your dad and is there anything else I can do to help’ because they knew what the job to be done was, what good looked like, what was important and, above all, that they knew they were trusted to do it.

You want to build a digital business? That’s the workforce you need.

Does it matter? Yes.

Not just because I needed the comfort, although human kindness is never redundant, never amiss. But because if our first reflex is not to be human, we will f**k this digital thing up.

My finger has hovered over the backspace for a bit here.

Strong language of this kind is not my style (when I write at least).

But this one holds.

Digital is not about the tech. It’s about the business, sure, but the dollars are just the lagging indicator telling you, you got it right. The way it works is: if you get it right with the humans, then you know you got it right.

Your business, whatever it is, is consumed and paid for by humans.

Staffed and delivered by humans.

In a crisis or on a totally unremarkable Tuesday, as a business, as an employer, as a service provider, as a globally significant financial institution, you will fight a million battles but only one can single-handedly lose you the war. And you may not even know you lost it, if, with no warning, your first instinct is not to protect the human.

If you have to think first, it’s too late.

Read the whole story at Fintech Futures.