Top 5 most read for CFOs in 2023

12/15/2023 00:00:00 +0800


Want to know what your esteemed peers read this year?

As you read the key points raised in each article (each heading links to the full article), ask yourself the following questions:
■ how is this applicable to me as I guide my business to a successful 2024?
■ how might I provide access to this tip/idea/behaviour to the people I work with in a simple and meaningful way?
■ what can I take from this that will give me the capacity to accelerate our results?

1. The Power of Uncapped Productivity: Elevating CFO Contributions Through Discerning Decision-Making

Uncapped productivity is one of the 3 core outcomes of our programs developed exclusively for the Office of the CFO. This is because there has always been more to do than the time available, and resources have always been scarce. We saw this again in 2023 and so it's unsurprising to see that this article was the year's most read.

We know that unleashing productivity is more than just time management and working your team harder. The key attribute and skill that CFOs need to lean into is their ability to be discerning when making decisions.

In this article I share the following 4 tips to answer the question 'what is the outcome or contribution that I'm trying to deliver and in order to achieve that, how can I get that done in a better way?'

1. Focus on the bigger picture
2. Stick to world class habits
3. Get outside perspectives
4. Use your team better

I consistently hear from our CFO Boardroom community members that the best part of our time together is hearing the perspectives and learning from their peers!

Read the full article to learn how decision making = elevated productivity and consider how these tips might shift your results beyond what you think possible next year!
2. Delivering profound value: Practical strategies for value-driven CFOs

This article reinforces the need shared to me every time I speak with CFOs: 'I want to add value to my business'.

Because of this, profound value is one of the 3 key outcomes we help our CFOs deliver. The question that we seek to help them answer is 'How do we elevate our contribution to our people, our businesses and communities?'.

The 3 practical strategies I share in this article are:

1. Purpose integration: aligning vision with action.
2. Curiosity: unleashing the power of inquiry
3. Powerful executive presence: building trust and credibility

This article articulates the straight line between alignment to our organisation's vision and how we show up at work.

Which means that the best thing you could do over the upcoming holiday period is to reset and reconnect with your personal vision so that you can show up in 2024 with a greater level of gravitas and conviction in the work you do and the profound value you deliver. If it would be helpful, I invite you to come and do that work with me in our exclusive CFO Catalyst Planning workshop - there are still a few seats left here.

3. Why CFOs need to let go at year-end

Coming in at #3, this article addresses one of the biggest challenges for CFOs: how to stay detached from outcomes when dealing with conflicting priorities, personalities and politics within their organisation.

I'm not sure if this resonates with you specifically, but I find CFOs are the most social beings within an organisation. Their primary motivation is to help people. Not to make money, but to help people. So when difficult financial decisions need to be made, or processes need to be undertaken, the thing that keeps most CFOs up at night is not about making the numbers work, it's about managing the relationships and conversations that need to be had in order to make the numbers work.

In this article I share the important distinction that exists between 'caring' about the work we do and being committed to delivering outcomes. When we 'care too much' and become attached, whilst we think we're being 'results focused' we're actually limiting ourselves to opportunities, options and outcomes. In fact, we get tunnel vision and become narrow minded.

In contrast, if we can let go and be detached and light while at the same time deeply committed, that's when we have the opportunity to take be pragmatic and truly impactful.

Read the full article to see the complete model and the distinctions for yourself.

4. Your privilege AND responsibility as a CFO

I wrote this article on the plane home from Tonga where I'd just delivered a leadership team program to the Bank of South Pacific Tongan Leadership Team and run our 2nd CFOs Connect event. An absolute privilege to do the work over in my mum's home country, what struck me most was the direct impact that all the senior leaders and CFOs I worked with had on the local Tongan community.

While on that trip I watched Taylor Swift's documentary, 'Miss Americana', and learned a little bit about how she has used her platform to impact the communities around her.

This article served as a reminder that as a CFO you're in a privileged position and that privilege comes with huge responsibility. Most CFOs focus on the 'responsibility' part of that sentence because being a CFO is increasingly a hard job and often a thankless one. With over 2.5 million businesses actively trading in Australia, it's easy to forget that privilege as we get lost in our own to-do lists and problems. Contrast that to Tonga where there is a population of around 100,000 people. So when you're a CFO of a company there - you're highly visible in the community, so it's hard to shy away from that responsibility.

Read the full article here.



5. Why CFOs need to master unwavering confidence

Rounding out the 3 key outcomes, mastering unwavering confidence is the all CFOs have battled with at some point in their career journeys.

The key question we help our clients answer with this outcome is 'how do we show up with the self-certainty to inspire confidence in others?'.

In this article, I share why CFOs hold back and struggle to embrace self-certainty as a strength. I also share the important interplay between power and perception when it comes to self-confidence and inspiring confidence in others.

This article particularly resonated with CFOs who are data driven and have struggled to measure in quantitative terms the value of mastering their self-confidence and the quantitative impact on the key financial metrics when you can most readily inspire confidence in others.

Take a read of the full article here

I hope you've found that recap helpful.

As you round out 2023 I'd encourage you to use reflect on the above topics and ask yourself the following questions:

1. What value do I want the Office of the CFO to contribute next year?
2. How does that mean I need to show up?
3. How will my team enable us to elevate?


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].
Grab your copy of Alena's CFO of the Future!

This is the trusted guide for CFOs to lead with IMPACT and create VALUE.

Grab your copy of Alena's Meaning Matters!

It's time for women in finance to find power in their purpose!

 ⓒ 2023




Let's Connect
Acknowledgement of Country

We acknowledge the Darkinjung people, the traditional custodians of the land on which we live and work and pay our respects to the Elders both past, present & emerging.