Topnotch CFO

The CFO’s role continues to evolve beyond its traditional responsibilities.

See article – CFOs paid the most in 50 companies: ETCFO analysis

The role of the CFO has evolved rapidly in the decade following the 2008 financial crisis as companies grapple the spiralling volatility, complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity (VUCA) in the world, experts say. “

Nice insight on the requirements of the CFO’s for tomorrow today.

 

💡⚡️ “Having business intelligence tied into the analytical side of finance is key”

Interesting interview with Feelunique’s COO Jim Buckle on CFO Brain.

Article CFO Brain

All in the obvious and in line with my motto (“The second is around FP&A, i.e. taking that data and providing the analysis and support to help people in the business to make the right decisions.”)

but what stood out was this remark.

“…which implies that having good quality information and having financially literate people that will help you interpret that data and are either able to make decisions themselves or support other managers, is really important.”

As transactional work will diminish out of the Finance Function. The Finance Function should be leading in the data gathering and interpreting in order to be in the co-pilot seat of the company.

 

Be an effective CFO for the future

The role of finance is rapidly stretching beyond traditional finance. This requires new competencies / styles for the CFO (or any finance chiefs).

In the article below it blends old style vs new style (coming from start-ups);

Think Like a Start-up

Take away – change your mindset:

  • Process but with purpose;
  • Risk minimization but with smart risk-taking;
  • Set goals but flexibility in approach
  • Deep belief in ideas but with pragmatic diplomacy.

It is not create a new CFO but a blend between “old” and “new”!

Alternative facts in the Boardroom?

In era of Alternative facts in the political arena – it crossed my mind: what about the facts in the boardroom. How well are facts and figures presented in the boardroom as the basis of a discussion or a descision to be made.

In research on this topic I found this presentation: How to Lie, Cheat, Manipulate and mislead using Statistics and Graphical Displays (Presentation).

Bottom line:

Always be critical on facts and figures presented – not only challenging the facts and figures but are the facts and figures contributing to a descision  or do you need more and/or in a different manner.

And if in doubt use the Lie Factor –

The “Lie Factor” is a value to describe the relation between the size of effect shown in a graphic and the size of effect shown in the data.

LIE FACTOR

 

 

 

 

Are we in control of our own decisions?

How rational are we in making our decisions? My believe is that we are very irrational, we rely on our emotions and our gut feeling. I really loved the book by Dan Ariely “Predictable Irrational” and the ted talk he gave (TedTalks).

Dan Ariely is a professor of psychology and behavioral economics at Duke University and a founding member of the Center for Advanced Hindsight.Through his research and his (often amusing and unorthodox) experiments, he questions the forces that influence human behavior and the irrational ways in which we often all behave.

The work of Dan Ariely is not only a fun and fascinating read; it has the power to change the way we interact with the world – one small decision at the time.

See also his website – http://danariely.com/

Mix of Hard and Soft skills?

In my prior post I touched on my favourite topic: the skills of a finance professional, the ratio soft vs hard skills. In the article below an interesting survey from Robert Half asking for the importance of hard and soft skills when seeking out for a finance professional. The outcome? An even split of importance – this surprised me. Currently, as I am looking for a new role I still notice great emphasis on the hard skills and the functional expertise. In my opinion (and I am advocating for myself) soft skills are important! This skills enables yourself to connect and partner with the business.

 

http://rh-us.mediaroom.com/2016-09-20-CFOs-Seek-Finance-Professionals-With-Mix-Of-Hard-And-Soft-Skills

Chief Performance tracker

As I am a big advocate of a real shift of the role of finance – I am in love with this job title “Chief Performance tracker”. In the article below the role of finance as a gatekeeper of financial metrics and nonfinancial measurements is rightly described. This role asks for hard analytical skills but also soft skills balancing out tensions across measures and departments.

http://ww2.cfo.com/enterprise-performance-management/2017/02/master-metrics/

Why do we still discuss Finance Business Partnership?

Interesting article or an “old hat” (as commented below the article)? Business partnering is still a topic, either we assume it is established or there is still the lack of partnership between business management and finance. In my opinion there is still work to be undertaken by Finance. According to research undertaken by Robert Half UK, 81% of UK companies are looking to form stronger partnerships between the finance department and other parts of the business. What stops it from happening? I believe that there is still no real paradigm swift within Finance. The focus is still around recording and reporting, a real new positioning needs to happen. Because Business Partnering as being part of the company that doesn’t sound rocket science?

http://sfmagazine.com/post-entry/july-2016-how-controllers-become-business-partners/