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There are always questions about the future

There are always questions about the future. It’s the only thing we don’t know. We don’t know what will happen in the future, so we ask lots of questions.

What will happen when Amazon opens a bank? Will regulators create new rules about data sharing? How will quantum computing change the game? Is distributed ledgers and decentralised computing going to disintermediate us?

The future is what we don’t know, which is why there are always questions.

Will I keep my job? What will machine learning do to my department? I fear for my team as they’re doing things that seem fairly mundane? Look at what XYZ Bank just did, will we do that?

Quite often the questions we ask about the future are ones of fear. We fear the fact that someone will move our cheese. We fear that we might wake up and the world is nothing like it was yesterday. Yesterday. All your troubles seemed so far away.

Where is Brexit taking us? Will Europe stay together? Why has Angela got the shakes? Who will be the next leader?

Our concerns are wrapped up in local, national and international affairs. Every now and then, we get hit by a black swan. An unforeseen event. Something that blows away the very fabric of our society, our country or our institution. Who knew that Lehmans would go under? Who knew that Trump would be President? Who knew that Boris would be negotiating a no-deal?

I’ve got bills to pay and jobs to be done. We need to move, sell the house, organise everything. How will the future look? Why is everything so uncertain?

The thing is that many of our thoughts about the future are based upon being grown up. We are mature. We have responsibilities, dependents, colleagues and careers. We need to be serious and focus. This is why we don’t like change.

The new manager just took over. Who is she? What’s she like? Will I like her? Can I get on with her? What if I don’t? What do I do? Where do I go?

We never used to be this way when we were younger. When we had less responsibilities and were free and just looking after ourselves and no one else. We were excited back then. Excited about everything. Particularly excited about change.

I can’t wait to see what happens next. Will I succeed? Can I get this job? Look, there’s an audition on the 9th, go for it! Let’s take that risk.

It’s all about risk. The older we get, the less risks we want to take. The younger we are, the more risks we are willing to take. This is why, when we talk about the future, we find that the older we are, the more we fear the future. The older we are, the more the future implies change and risk. The younger we are, the more we want the future to be about taking risk and change.

The future is always about risk and change.

The reason why this is an important thing to understand is that when I blog about FinTech being a parent-child relationship, the parent is the Fin and the child is the Tech. The parent wants nothing to change and to minimise risk; the child wants everything to change and is taking the risk to make that happen.

No wonder partnering two such industries with such different mentalities is hard, but it is happening whether you like it or not. The only constant is change and the only thing we can change in the future is the change we make ourselves. Go for it.

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, TheFinanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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