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People and processes are two of the most important improvement tools a finance leaders has in their arsenal. Finance leaders by large are no strangers to process improvement. As such, this article will focus solely on the 4 vows these leaders can take to become proactive in meeting the finance talent challenge and bring the focus back on the people side of the organization.
Vow 1: To proactively and intentionally commit finance to creative value:
It is without question that most senior finance leaders have by now proven their worth as stewards and at certain times operators of an organization. It is now time to align accounting and finance with the direction the business is heading. By becoming strategists and catalysts the finance leader can stimulate organizational growth. Finance leaders must clearly communicate this evolution to finance and enable evolution of the company at large.
Vow 2: To develop a new breed of finance leader:
CFOs and finance leaders must now more than ever consider the evolution finance has taken from tacticians to strategists /catalysts and as such push themselves to find, use, develop and deploy a distinct new breed of individual for their finance teams. These new profiles include business-savvy generalists who will most liekly become tomorrow's leaders, either in finance or somewhere else in the business.
Vow 3: To Brand finance as a dynamic career, and commit myself to making that promise a reality:
The CFO and finance leader is among some of the most ambitious and accomplished across all industries and business units. Although few have shared the exact path to becoming a senior finance leader, they can all indentify key jobs and experiences that made them better finance leaders. Now it is time to provide that same level of advancements and opportunities to their own future leaders and allow them the room to excel and grow.
Vow 4: To own the development of my finance team:
It can be very tempting to delegate or hand off people issues/initiatives to others in the organization or assigning a low priority to them. However by doing so, as the CFO / finance leader you will do yourself a great disservice by missing out on those individuals who have the potential to excel in a value-driven finance funtion. Finance leaders need to therefore create a distinct plan to characterize, locate and deploy these all-star finance gurus for maximum effect.
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