Reinventing The CFO Date : 12 December 2017 to 13 December 2017, Mumbai
Chief financial officers and the ones in the making are now expected to be leaders first and ‘numbers people’ second, particularly as they lead companies through a ‘volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous’ world. The stereotypical image of the chief financial officer – poker-faced and buried in piles of spreadsheets – rarely applies anymore. According to a recent report, I chanced upon, there were similarities between what I learned and what I was reading.
The study found that CFOs who were characterized as revolutionaries — those who set challenging goals and are happy to consider changing corporate culture and structures — are tied to the companies that had the greatest profit growth.
CFOs characterized as traditionalists — those who prefer to work within existing systems — had the least profit growth.
The greatest percentage of CFOs were deemed to have politician decision-making styles. The politician is a more cautious leader with a methodical, team-based approach,” the report stated. This type of CFO is more likely than average to believe that collaboration is a key challenge that needs addressing.
CFOs who fall into the conductor leadership style tend to set challenging goals for themselves and their staff and are happy to bend the rules and work outside of formal systems. These CFOs are more likely than average to make decisions based on their gut instincts rather than hard data.
CFOs who have the visionary leadership style like to make decisions based on experience and intuition. They fear not having the time or resources to surface meaningful insights more than average.
Providing financial analysis and insight is still a key part of the CFO’s job, but the role now entails much more. The modern CFO needs to be a business leader who takes on challenges outside the traditional comfort zone of finance or accounting.
CEO’s right-hand executive. Today’s CFO is the CEO’s confidant and enthusiastic champion. He or she is a sounding board and collaborator on everything from financial performance to strategy. The individual must be trustworthy and someone with whom the CEO is comfortable sharing everything from strategic ideas to personal-professional struggles. While the contemporary CFO shares certain values with the CEO, he or she must think differently enough to provide an alternative perspective.
Additionally, the contemporary CFO lives, breathes and puts into action the CEO’s corporate vision. The individual understands the importance of culture, brand, and strategy, and works actively with the team to justify investments. Having an EQ (emotional intelligence) as strong as their IQ, the contemporary CFO is in tune with the culture of the organization. He or she understands the importance of momentum for the organization to reach its full potential.
Strategic advisor. The contemporary CFO is the senior executive team’s on-staff advisor. The person understands, in depth, the market opportunity, strategy, and business model of the organization and provides a unique perspective that looks across all departments.
Besides the CEO, the contemporary CFO is the only person with a clear view of the big picture and limited bias toward one aspect of its performance. To play this advisory role well, the individual is a business executive first and a financial executive second. They need a strong grounding in accounting and finance but that is simply a given in business today. Today’s CFO provides data, information, insights and puts them into action. The contemporary CFO understands how to build scalable systems and processes. The individual develops KPIs and understands performance trends, but also develops and implements strategies to improve them.
Of course, there are legal, regulatory and financial items that are necessary for today’s CFO to understand, but the contemporary CFO is, above all, a leader. He or she knows how to manage the status quo while always pushing the organization forward. The contemporary CFO demonstrates this first and foremost in the evolution of his or her own role.
Your business can’t afford NOT have a contemporary CFO. The days of tending the ship are over.
The above premise mirrors the driving concept of our 2-Day MasterClass for current and aspiring Financial Chiefs in India “The Revolutionary CFOs”.
- Keep up with emerging trends and methodologies, make better strategic financialdecisions, and build key partnerships in a comprehensive program.
- Develop strategic skills in the context of financial leadership.
- Transition from information provider to strategic partner.
- Learn new techniques and methodologies related to finance, strategy, and leadership.
- Gain a greater understanding of current trends in finance.
- Develop long-term vision and strategy frameworks.
- Assess and enhance your personal leadership style.
- Drive innovation and lead cultural change.
Who Should Attend
- Senior finance executives
- Examples of appropriate functions and titles: chief financial officer, treasurer, controller, vice president of finance, and other senior-level financial positions