In financial services today, it seems everyone is interested in how blockchain can be used. Diana Adachi's one of the people making it happen.
After the distributed ledger technology was mostly regarded as the "technology behind Bitcoin," banks are warming up to blockchain to improve more mainstream activities, such as cross-border payments and mobile transactions.
While the true benefits of blockchain and its best uses may not be known for years, Adachi's management style suggests there's nothing left to chance; nothing left to develop on its own without careful nurturing.
"A vision without a plan is a hallucination,” said Adachi, quoting Will Rogers. "This belief is the foundation of my ability to execute and get to 'end of job.'"
Adachi, Accenture's global blockchain officer and one of PaymentsSource's Most Influential Women in Payments for 2017, is spending much of her time these days working on innovations in cryptocurrency and the use of blockchain. "These technologies are proving to democratize payments for the underserved and unbanked," Adachi said. "The younger generation is concerned with social economic impacts and are motivated to learn and be involved."
Young people are the generation most in tune with virtual currency, blockchain and other forms of alternative finance, placing Adachi in close touch with the next generations of innovators. The learning has been a two way street.
"What has been a great insight working with millennials is their personal sense of value towards the work they do," said Adachi, who has also worked on contactless and stored-value cards during her career. "I have had the good fortune to work with many talented individuals who are highly committed, particularly when they understand and have bought into the importance of their contribution not only to the client and the company but to them personally."
Being able to communicate the significance of what and why we are doing the project from the younger colleague’s perspective strengthens the overall story, according to Adachi, adding it's a different viewpoint from just selling the benefits to a client.
It also enables Adachi to work on new innovation with the perspective that it also creates challenges. Blockchain, and particularly virtual currency, is often the subject of controversy and regulatory pressure as it enters new markets and challenges the status quo.
"Globalization is well upon us," she said, adding leaders from both the private and public sector will need to work in tandem to help everyone succeed together globally. "Advancements in technology like blockchain will persist and will reduce the need for certain work while opening up opportunities."
70% cacao dark chocolate also helps.
"Not only is it loaded with nutrients such as minerals and soluble fiber, it is proven to keep one healthy and lower the risk of heart disease if taken in moderation," Adachi said. "Given that this type of chocolate contains stimulants like caffeine and theobromine this helps me to push through some of my more challenging work."