On the closing day of Sibos, the Innotribe team and I lead an exercise to introduce the bankers in the room to the basic ideas around ICounting. It was really fun to work with Mariela Atanassova with staging some of our core exercises for this audience. Thanks Mela!

I opened with a few slides about the growth of intangibles. Since we had limited time, I used data from the U.S. but with such an international audience, I promised that I would share some data on investment patterns in other countries. Here’s the link I promised to the intangibles data available from the economists at the Conference Board (thank goodness for them or we wouldn’t have any data on this very important trend).

We anchored the discussion by talking about how in accounting, we take an inventory, classify and measure all the assets of a company. ICounting follows the same path but the focus is on intangible capital.

Then we got into it. We divided the group into groups that looked at PowerBank, a traditional bricks and mortar institution, and Mew Bank, a web-based upstart. Using our open source ICounts tools, the teams created simple inventories of the intangibles of each. Then we explored how to measure these intangibles, especially focusing on the concepts of stakeholder assessment, which is one of the root concepts of ICounting. At Smarter-Companies we posit that outside-in measurement is more important and more powerful than inside-out metrics and financials that business traditionally uses.

The Innotribe team created a series of fun media that had a sample of traditional and social media items about the two organizations. We talked about how these affected the reputation of the banks and explored the question of whether it was enough to just react to what happens in the media. ICounting is a way of getting ahead of this kind of reactive approach—to proactively know what your intangibles are and how well they are performing.

One of the comments that I loved was that many of the emerging topics in SWIFT start in Innotribe and move to the main sessions over the period of several years. Let’s hope that’s the case with intangibles!

Soon after, we had the closing session around a modern-day campfire of glowing globes. The words used by participants talking about their experiences included trust, humans, transparency, personalization, shared values. Interesting language from a bunch of bankers. They also talked about disruption and change. We hope that ICounting will help them think proactively about how to deal with these changes.

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