The New Year’s resolution CFOs should be paying attention to

01/12/2024 00:00:00 +0800


I love this time of year. Not only is it summer and we have an extended break, but it's the time when - along with the scent of jasmine and sea salt that fills the steamy air - there's the beautiful smell of opportunity and possibility in the air.

The new year is possibly the globally most recognised 'temporal landmark' - that is, a moment in time when we have the opportunity to draw an imaginary line in the sand and say 'tomorrow things will be different'. It's why our social media feeds are momentarily filled with ads spruiking new year calendars and planners and fitness influencers telling us how this is going to be the 'year of you'!

Regardless of who you are, and how much you buy into new year's resolutions (or not), you've probably done some reflection and thinking about how you want things to be different.

These CFOs are clear and confident about the year ahead!
This week I kicked off my 'work' new year in my favourite way - hosting a group of 15 inspired CFOs create their Catalyst plans. A Catalyst plan is one that sets you up to the catalyst for growth in your organisation. We get you thinking about your long term personal vision, and we break that down into what that means for the next 4 quarters across the 5 Pillars of High Performance for CFOs. It's incredibly powerful, and that's because we cover:
The why: why is this plan important in the context of our whole lives? We take a purpose driven approach to our Catalyst planning
The what: what big goals and aspirations are we going to set for ourselves?
The how: how are we going to go about achieving our goals and aspirations?
■ The when: when are we going to do the 'hows' and achieve the 'whats'?
■ The who: who do we need in our powerbase to get us there?
It's comprehensive, much like I'm sure your organisational planning and resulting plans are.
Like most CFOs, the CFOs joined the Catalyst session with the organisational and role-based 'what' already determined from their organisational planning processes. They knew with great clarity what their key priorities and deliverables were for the year.
The nuance that we got to explore in the safety of our session and surrounded by like-minded CFOs was the relationship between the defined 'what' and their own personal 'whys' and also to reassess their own 'how' through new routines, cadences, relationships and personal habits. They'd had the thoughts, but what we were able to do for them this week was to help them create sense and structure so that they could redefine 'hows' that energised them.
And here's the thing: whether they know it or not, your CEO is doing this thinking as well.

They're thinking: 'We need to deliver the strategy this year. But last year was tough. It wore down on me personally in various ways. I want things to be different.'

So I think CFOs have the opportunity early in the near year to open up an informal conversation with their CEO to find out about what their personal new year's resolutions are. Find out how they want things to be different even though so many things are already set it stone.

Then help them make them happen.

The level of trust between a CEO and CFO can be established and maintained through normal business processes, that's true. But when you amp up the level of corporate intimacy you have with your CEO and show them that "I've got your back" outside those normal processes, that's when you become their true partner and guide.

Our CFOs walked away from the session this week saying:

'I feel aligned and concentrated'
'I'm excited by the opportunities'
'I feel focused and purposeful - it's kicked me into gear for the year'

Imagine if you were able to help your CEO feel that way?

How do you want things to be different this year?
How does your CEO want things to be different this year?
How can you help?


Author: Alena Bennett

Alena works with leaders and their teams to connect technical and leadership skills so they can deliver to deadline without killing their people.
She is a mentor, trainer, facilitator and coach. Contact her today on [email protected].
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 ⓒ 2023




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