On Tuesday, November 5, 2019, Managing Director Dr. Stefan Hirschmann and his team from VÖB-Services organised an inspiring BANKENNETZWERK networking event “Digitisation and digital competence in banks” with an auditorium of 70 banking professionals.
Learning from history is crucial to understand the current societal changes triggered by technological progress. It‘s the basis to be able to make smart strategic decisions in a fundamentally changing business environment.
Some examples in the keynote referring to Professor Niall Ferguson‘s inspiring book „The Square and the Tower“. Enjoy some of his insights here
The “cobra effect” is a prime example of failed incentive structures. Good governance in banks and savings banks must serve stability and flexibility at the same time. Compliance with four principles is indispensable.
Well-intentioned is not well done yet. Science calls this the cobra effect. It goes back to an event when India was still a British colony. In order to control a cobra plague, a British governor placed a bounty on every snake that he killed. With the result that enterprising Indians began to breed cobras to collect the bounty. When the governor learned of this practice, he had the program stopped and the breeders released the snakes. Result: The problem had multiplied.
The Kobra effect is regarded as a prime example of failed incentive structures – and thus of failed governance. This word, derived from the French “governance” for government, is often used today, and with its almost inflationary mention, the blur surrounding it is also growing.
So let us recall: governance refers to the structures and forms of governance that exist in a society. This refers to the interaction between the state, the private sector and interest groups. The aim is to improve the management of an organisation or a political or social unit in order to achieve better results.
Stability as an objective of governance
However, it has become common practice to use governance primarily when it is not a question of state structures. For example, the term plays an important role in practically all companies that deal with the public in the form of customers or stakeholders. As a result of the blurred use of the term, case studies from politics are often used today to explain economic frameworks.
Undoubtedly, there are many parallels between the governance of states and the governance of private companies, in their structure and processes and thus also in their form of governance. The decisive factor for both is first and foremost stability and thus the ability to cope with major crises. For states, the core of stability is the constitution, which enables leadership during the crisis and at the same time serves as the basis for a way out of the crisis. A current example of this is the national crisis in Austria. The government has failed; until the next elections a transitional government of experts will lead the country and thus guarantee stability. Around this core, however, a state structure must also have a certain flexibility in order to be able to react to developments.
Stability plus flexibility
And this is where the differences to the private sector begin. States are not in competition with the private sector and generally continue to exist even after crises, even if in extreme cases the political system and its fundamental form of governance may change. The situation is different for companies. Of course, they also need a stable core. But they must be extremely flexible and adapt to market situations in order to survive in the long term. Their stability is based on the flexibility of the process organisation. When it comes to flexibility, smaller companies often have an advantage over large, difficult-to-maneuver corporations. We see this in the financial services industry with the example of FinTechs and InsurTechs. However, these relatively small companies often lack the stability they need to survive when consolidating.
Let’s take the example of the banking industry: It faces clear challenges – digitization, new competing business models, exponential technology leaps and ever shorter product cycles with lower margins and increasing regulation. Sustainable answers and the resulting strategies will only be found by those houses that are stable in themselves on the one hand, but are also capable of a degree of flexibility that has never been demanded of them in history on the other.
Four principles of good governance
But how does a company obtain the necessary stability? There are four principles for good, i.e. successful, governance, which must always be present:
Accountability: There must be an organization that is controllable and controlled. Accountability: The company as a whole and each individual employee are accountable for their actions. Openness: Only when employees, customers and stakeholders understand what is happening is transparency actually lived out. Fairness: Ethical conduct is one of the foundations for long-term value creation.
Governance must be lived
In order to achieve a satisfactory situation for both sides, the four principles of governance are indispensable. However, it is not enough to lay them down in statutes; they must also be lived by each individual.
In addition, the current major transformation issues, which not only the banks but also the entire economy have seized, should be seen as an opportunity for companies with a consolidated governance structure and remind us of a statement by the Roman philosopher Seneca, who said: “Only the tree that has been constantly exposed to gusts of wind is firm and strong, because in battle its roots are consolidated and strengthened”.
“It has been inspiring discussing with Katharina Schneider about AI and the future of the financial sector and being quoted in her article among other experts as Prof. Andreas Dengel (DFKI), Dirk Elsner (DZ Bank) and Nils Beier (Accenture) . Read the original article here“
Frankfurt The interplay between artificial intelligence and the financial sector in Great Britain will soon be very vivid: from 2021, the portrait of Alan Turing will adorn the new 50 pound notes. The scientist is known for his early research on computer technology. (translated with DeepL.com)
It has been pleasure being guest author for the DIGIPRAKTIKER, Finanz Colloquium Heidelberg.
What role does the human factor play in times of exponential technological progress?
Author: Jochen Werne, Director Business Development, Product Management, Treasury and Payment Services at Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG
The only constant in history was, is and remains change. Gutenberg’s invention of the printing press in 1450 was a milestone on the timeline of human development. Today we still take note of this invention, which was considered an innovation at that time, but we have long lived surrounded by smartphones and cloud applications, in which we can store the most private information and retrieve it from anywhere in the world. Today’s change is being driven by a veritable digital revolution.
Digital change already has fundamental consequences for individuals and their lifestyles, but it is developing its full potential when it comes to interacting with our social environment. In times of smart robotics and maturing systems in relation to artificial intelligence, the question arises again and again what role humans play on the stage of these technologies. Is he …
For the opening keynote of our ec4u virtual conference Digital Thoughts on May 23rd, Jochen Werne, Director Marketing & Authorised Officer at Bankhaus August Lenz, talked about opening up to the digital transformation. It turns out, what we associate with technology and what it actually offers are often two completely different things.
„Companies and people need to participate actively in the transformation. We need to move. It’s impossible to be a passive participant in the transformation.“
The speaker this morning is Jochen Werne, a graduate banking and marketing specialist. As director and authorized signatory, he is responsible for private banking and corporate banking at Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG in Munich. He is guest lecturer at universities and colleges, keynote speaker at banking and innovation conferences, author and co-author of books and articles on leadership, innovation, KI, FinTechs, Cyber Security and much more. He is a member of the platform for artificial intelligence “Learning Systems” initiated by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and advising the German Federal Government as well as of the Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House, ambassador of the Peter Tamm sen. foundation and is listed by Focus-Magazin as one of the AI experts in Germany. He is the founder of the Global Offshore Sailing Team GOST and co-founder of the NGO Mission4Peace, which is dedicated to historical research, building international diplomatic relations and promoting international dialogue.
The participants will also get to know the Diplomatic Council (DC) this morning. It combines a global think tank, a business network and a charity foundation in a unique organization with consultative status at the United Nations. Stephanie Stoerk, Chapter Director DC Stuttgart, explains what distinguishes the Diplomatic Council from all other networks and what advantages it offers its members.
Breakfast is open from 8:30 am. At 9:00 a.m. we start our official program (whoever comes earlier has time to eat in peace), which lasts until 10:30 a.m. (including questions and answers). In between there is always the possibility to eat from the rich breakfast buffet.
Der Redner an diesem Morgen ist der diplomierte Banking- und Marketing-Spezialist Jochen Werne. Er verantwortet als Direktor und Prokurist das Private Banking sowie den Corporate Banking Bereich bei der Bankhaus August Lenz & Co. AG in München. Er ist Gastdozent an Universitäten und Hochschulen, Keynote Speaker auf Banking- und Innovationskonferenzen, sowie Autor und Co-Autor von Büchern und Artikeln zu Leadership, Innovation, KI, FinTechs, Cyber Security u. v. m. Er ist u. a. Mitglied der vom Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung initiierten und die deutsche Bundesregierung beratende Plattform für Künstliche Intelligenz „Lernende Systeme“ sowie des Royal Institute of International Affairs Chatham House, Botschafter der Peter Tamm sen. Stiftung und wird vom Focus-Magazin als einer der KI-Experten in Deutschland geführt. Er ist Gründer des Global Offshore Sailing Teams GOST und Co-Founder der NGO Mission4Peace, die sich der historischen Forschung, dem Aufbau internationaler, diplomatischer Beziehungen sowie der Förderung eines internationalen Dialogs widmet.
Darüber hinaus lernen die Teilnehmer an diesem Morgen das Diplomatic Council (DC) kennen. Es verknüpft einen globalen Think Tank, ein Business Network und eine Charity Foundation in einer einzigartigen Organisation mit Beraterstatus bei den Vereinten Nationen. Stephanie Stoerk, Chapter Director DC Stuttgart, informiert, was das Diplomatic Council von allen anderen Netzwerken unterscheidet und welche Vorteile sich daraus für die Mitglieder ergeben.Das Frühstück ist ab 8:30 Uhr geöffnet. Um 9:00 Uhr starten wir unser offizielles Programm (wer früher kommt, hat also Zeit, in Ruhe zu essen), das bis 10:30 Uhr andauert (inklusive Fragen und Antworten). Es besteht zwischendurch jederzeit die Möglichkeit, sich vom reichhaltigen Frühstücksbuffet zu versorgen