XBRL - massive transformative purpose

25 February 2015 Written by 

Indeed it (XBRL aka digital financial reporting) is revolutionary for it democratizes data i.e. easily available and download for free ( e.g. SEC USA ).

The implication (impact) is enormous for it is purposeful (outcome- based e.g. purpose over profit) and massively transformative.

Such transparency is allowing for a shift of influence from corporations to the people and no companies can afford to operate opaquely. It has been said "...that the corporation is becoming naked, and as a result will have no choice but to rethink values and behaviours – for the better" - One Report by R Eccles.

“You’re going to be naked, so you’d better be buff!” – The Naked Corporation by D Tapscott and D Nicoll. Nature's law for survival?

The question is how responsive are companies in adopting integrated thinking /reporting leveraging on tools such as XBRL addressing issues on connectivity of information, consistency and comparability of data for a start.

XBRL is increasingly been adopted across jurisdictions. With the ability for individual investors to consume data quickly, they could analyse ( extract, formularise, pivot, chart ) the financial numbers with ease e.g. industry comparison, FCFs, return on invested capital, competitive advantage period, asset protection, debt flexibility n capacity ratios, trend analysis, value drivers etc. Critical issues on sustainable value creation can now be easily raised, traced and tracked. The process requiring insights on consistency and comparability and connectivity of information is already underway and the pace will only intensify.

The diminishing public trust is the result of the perception that corporations are privatizing profits and socialising costs. Corporations will need to communicate clearly and concisely how it is sustaining value creation (purpose over profit) and addressing issues concerning negative externalities (accountability).

The inability and or unwillingness to address issues on impacts (outcome) which are subjective in nature vs outputs (objective in nature) has resulted in experience ( review of financial reporting and disclosure: is it quality? ) to be perceived as poor. At best, present disclosure and reporting conform to prevailing standards (static). In a world that is constantly evolving, static quality is never sufficient to satisfy the needs of stakeholders.

It is not surprising for legacy system to be constantly under pressure and the individuals within it feel that there is always catching up to do and get stressed out. Stress = Low Empathy = Unresponsiveness.

Is it not possible to create communities with face-to-face meetups or experiment on the edges, serving as catalyst to make organisations more responsive? A bottom-up approach that celebrates purposeful transformation, empowerment and adaptation.

As new way of doing things is on the roll creating exponential entities with massive transformative purpose, legacy system is feeling overwhelmed. Without the DNA capable of immunising itself via the continuous topping up of dynamic qualitative attributes (vs quantitative), the prognosis is not that great.

System thinking and holonomic can help frame and address qualitative issues, if the will is there.

Resistance to change is understandable: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair

At the macro level, smart individuals (with their capital) will go to where the “puck is going to be”. No prizes for guessing where they will be heading ….

That said, positive outcome for the <IR> journey is possible, but time is not on its side.

Read 2458 times Last modified on Wednesday, 25 February 2015 16:17
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