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Reinventing and transforming treasury to fit with ‘The Future of Business’

Rohit Talwar’s presentation at the ACT Annual Conference in February on ‘The Future of Business’ contained enough controversial thoughts and ideas to fill a week, let alone 30 minutes. Ideas included:

  • ‘Future Proofed’ organisations work on three horizons in parallel:
    • Source and copyright 2016: Fast Future
  • when two worlds collide- the physical & local world with the digitised society with a global brain, every sector will be transformed by 2020 which will create ‘a new game’. Companies will need to change their DNA 
  • disruptive technologies are rewiring every sector with big data, artificial intelligence and robotics being game changers
  • 1Bn+ jobs will be automated by 2030 leading to a new economics model which will require revolutionary thinking” including:
    • guaranteed basic incomes?
    • positive money which removed the pwoere of the banks to create money, so we can create money free of debt?
  • and much more.

Talwar believes that the biggest disrupter in corporate treasury will be artificial intelligence and block chain, and that today’s “social structures and political governance models are at the crossroads” 

Reinventing and transforming treasury

To deal with these new crossroads, Talwar believes that businesses need to respond by reinventing and transforming themselves, e.g. the Chinese construction company built a 30 story office block in 15 days. His general methodology for embracing the future of business is to:

  • create a team of future scouts - of all ages and backgrounds, not just senior management who scan the future, sharing insights and dialogues with all sorts of people
  • adopt a three horizon - 12 months, 1-3 yeras and 4-10 years - mindset
  • create 1-3 year detailed strategies
  • build key muscles: flexibility, experimentatation, prototyping and rapid innovation
  • management - needs to simplify and tackle complexity throughout the organisation.

In small technical teams, such as the corporate treasury department, the key task is to free up your staff by:

  • not accepting that anything is a given, getting them to question everything
  • simplifying and reducing complexity but beware the resistance from staff who created the system/process and/or who carry out the process
  • asking what things add NO value and eliminate them  
  • having an orgy of elimination so that jobs are NOT routine
  • making jobs interesting because bright people hate doing simple things
  • celebrating the simple, smart ways of doing things
  • looking out for internal rules that get in the way of your staff being effective
  • equipping staff to think and act by themselves to “think outside the box”.

CTMfile take: Simplifying and reducing complexity should be the mantra for both banks and corporate treasury departments. Easy to say, however, extremely hard to do.

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