Top 5 most read for CFOs in 2024

04/12/2024 15:30:00 +0800
Want to know what your esteemed peers read this year?

Every quarter I share a summary of the most 5 most read for the quarter, so you can make sure you're on top of the things that matter and that you don't miss out.

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?

I honestly think the allure of this one was reading about my absolute lack of surfing ability!

But in reality, many CFOs struggle with being uncomfortable so to avoid discomfort they subconsciously engage in unhelpful behaviours.

This article asks the question 'what are you not doing because it's uncomfortable?' and then explores what that might be costing you, your CEO and your organisation.

This is a must read if you find change growth at first, uncomfortable in the middle but want to ensure it's successful at the end.

I shared this article at the beginning of the year, where I found myself asking my CFOs 'How do you want to be a better leader this year?'. Interestingly enough, they found this question hard to answer - primarily because of the uncertainty in their organisation, industry and broader the macroeconomic environment.

Through a personal story, insights about the Catalyst Planning process we run with our CFOs and Dr Stephen Covey's Circle of Influence model, I share how you can answer that question for yourself.

I'd recommend reading this article if you're feeling a bit overwhelmed about the priorities ahead and need some clarity around how you can thrive through them.

Coming in at #3, this article is a must read if you want to elevate the quality of the relationship between you and your CEO.

This partnership is paramount for your ability to really step up and have the impact you want and create the value you know is possible. Trust creates incredible value, as Taylor Swift proved during her recent Australian tour.

One of my clients said they forwarded this article to their CEO and said 'this is what I want to create for us'. I'd highly recommend you do the same.

Over the past 2 years, I have noticed the alarming trend that the gap between the CFO and their teams is widening. I've seen CFOs attempt to bridge this gap in many different ways, not all have been effective.

In a recent keynote I delivered, I shared the following reality:

"The perception of your team is a reflection of you".

The inference being that if you're not loving what you're seeing for your team, what does that tell you about yourself?

Harsh? Maybe. But here's the thing. Your team is purely a mechanism for leverage because you can't do everything yourself. You should be asking:

'Does the team amplify my voice?'
'Does the team strengthen my impact?'
'Does the team accelerate my results?'

If you aren't answering these questions with a resounding 'YES' then you may find the perspective shared in this article useful.

Graphic of 8 archetypes for a CFO of the Future Personality Test Finance Leaders
Wonderful to be back in the room with our CFO community!
One of the most useful questions I think you can ask your key stakeholders is 'What's keeping you up at night?'. Its power is in the depth of thinking it unlocks - beyond the surface level challenges, it taps into the concerns that typically sit unspoken yet influence everything.

I provide a synthesis of KPMG's latest 'Keeping us up at night' report and share a simple approach that CFOs can take to address the challenges raised.

While the detailed challenges change ever so slightly each year, I think there are really only ever 2 key questions for CFOs to answer:

1. How are we adapting to the changes in our regulatory
environment? and
2. How are we optimising our resources?

(There is a 3rd, but that's that's for another day.)

Take a read if you want to cut through the complexity of the never-ending challenges and want a simple yet more effective way of approaching them.

I hope you've found that recap helpful.

As we start our descent towards the end of the financial year I'd encourage you to reflect on the above topics and ask yourself the following questions:

1. How does the organisation want to finish the financial year?
2. How do I want to contribute?
3. What is the most useful conversation I could initiate with my CEO?

Love to hear your thoughts...

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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