Back in the good old days (if there ever really were “good old days”), CFOs had a fairly straightforward path to success: Be responsible, be timely, be accurate. Good CFOs could also be counted on to think strategically, which added considerable value to the bottom line.
The job was never easy, but these days it’s harder than ever. Corporations demand a high level of sophistication and innovation from the finance function. And the inherent challenges of an economic decline make this mandate even more burdensome.
While most CFOs have taken to heart the importance of being innovative and proactive, not as many of them have defined their role as a central player in planning changes that maximize shareholder value and driving them across the enterprise.
What these executives do not fully exploit is that the CFO is uniquely qualified to provide meaningful input on the organization’s current and future initiatives and to lead the business in adapting to the changes that lay ahead. Leading financial executives take this to heart, providing critical insight to the business at large — not just within the finance function. They use their financial management platform to define and quantify value drivers for their enterprise, focus the entire organization on business initiatives that maximize value, and lead enterprise transformation efforts.
Today’s turbulent times will highlight the value of those CFOs who have already added the title of “Chief Transformation Officer” to their already long list of responsibilities. They have created organizations that are more nimble and better prepared to quickly identify and implement needed changes thoughtfully, with an eye towards not just surviving the next several quarters but being in position to dominate their markets when things swing back, as they always do.
CFOs who truly understand and embrace this new requirement to be a catalyst for change — and to lead business transformation across the enterprise — will create enormous competitive advantage for their corporations.
To learn more about the changing profile of today’s successful CFO, read our analysis of current challenges and opportunities for today’s chief financial officers.
Author: Reed Kingston
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged business transformation, CFO, CFO performance, CFO turnover, CFOs, change management, continuous improvement, controllership and compliance, enterprise performance management, finance strategy, financial leadership, process improvement, Reed Kingston
A survey conducted by IDG Research Services with CIO magazine sponsored by BearingPoint
Does innovation drive cost savings? Or does cost savings fuel innovation? The answer to both: Absolutely.
CIOs can introduce tremendous value into their organizations by optimizing the way that they manage their companies’ IT systems. They can deliver even more value, however, when they focus on executing strategic cost takeout, IT optimization and IT governance in ways that encourage and support ongoing business innovation.
That’s one lesson learned from a recent survey of 150 CIOs conducted by IDG Research Services. Among survey respondents, 66 percent cited the need to reduce costs as a driver for innovation.
The IDG survey makes an important point: Businesses that consistently press to cut costs have an advantage over those that don’t. After all, the former can leverage savings to support and stimulate further innovation, which strengthens the collaborative partnership that’s necessary between the business and its IT operations.
“CIOs are tired of cutting costs. And because the challenge of containing costs is not going away anytime soon, CIOs have an opportunity to turn this into an advantage by developing a business case for using savings to fund innovation and by rigorously managing their portfolios.”
— Pierre Champigneulle, managing director at BearingPoint
Access the full article for more information about this study.
One of the great ironies of the current economy is that, while enterprises of every type are struggling to improve business results and restore investor confidence, these same organizations already hold billions of dollars in unrealized value, often just tantalizingly out of reach.
This is not a new phenomenon, rather one that has surfaced over time. With few exceptions, organizations of all sizes hold unrealized value because they have not fully integrated the different components of their business. Redundancy, inefficiency, compartmentalization and the misalignment of strategy, operations, people and technology converge to prevent companies from realizing their full potential value.
Explore new thinking on how this value can be reclaimed in ways that produce near-term results and long-term growth.