ICYMI: CFO Most Read Articles of 2022

09/25/2023 06:56:21 +0000

Want to know what your esteemed peers read this year?

The top 5 most read articles this year are listed below for easy reference. But of course, at this time of year what's more meaningful than a 'top 5 list' is the 'so what?'. What does this list tell us about:
- what CFOs need?
- what CFOs want?
- what will give CFOs 'the edge'?

So before I share the list, here is how I shared the 'so what' to my CFO Boardroom community recently:

As 2023 approaches us at the speed of a Japanese bullet train, CFOs need to equip themselves to provide stability, certainty and growth for their businesses, no matter what's around the corner. They'll need the following 3 key attributes:

1. Simplicity: Those CFOs that thrive will be those that can simplify the complex in all domains: priorities, processes and problems solving so they have the capacity to deal with the complexity that 2023 will no doubt bring.

2. Productive velocity: We know that time compounds results whether you do anything or not. This means CFOs need to prevent exposure to the risk of 'drift' (inadvertent unproductive behaviour that goes on typically due to inaction) that when compounded, will prevent their ability to deliver exceptional results in the fastest possible way.

3. Accessibility: We can't predict the future. Those CFOs that thrive won't be those who have 'done it all' and 'know it all', but will be those that have swift and frictionless access to the people, resources and tools that have different experiences, expertise and perspectives to equip them to respond to what's around the corner.

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 2023?
· 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 value of empathy for CFOs

As a high-performer it's easy to be frustrated when other people don't meet your expectations. Here I shared my recent experience getting 'told off' by my mum, as I prepared to deliver a CFOs Connect event in Tonga.

While most CFOs want to approach their stakeholders with empathy - because we know that's the most effective way to influence - quite often a contraction of time or access can result in us forgetting to lead with empathy. Being empathetic takes not only time, but space...and when you do this, the results can be quite spectacular.

The top 3 tips I shared in this article to ensure you always lead with empathy were:
1. Know your place
2. Come with a curious mind
3. Balance urgency with humility

Getting CFOs together is my favourite thing!

2. Why proven CFOs deserve success beyond limits

The fact this article was #2 most read isn't surprising to me! We want success and most of us know we're capable of more than what we're currently doing or getting the opportunity to do.

As I've shared in my book, CFO of the future, I think CFOs are striving for the wrong goal. Business Partnering should be BAU...it should just be the beginning. It's really about equipping yourself to deliver success without limits and this is why Playmaker is what we should be playing for.

In this article I provided some thoughts around how I think focusing on CFO leadership is limiting and why we need to be thinking even deeper than outcomes. I recognise that this doesn't come naturally to many of us as we've been conditioned to have a fixed mindset. Read the full article to learn about how a growth mindset, coupled with the right framework, might shift your results beyond what you think possible next year!

3. 3 questions CFOs should be asking themselves right now

Okay okay, let's cut to the chase. I know you just want the questions! Well, here they are:

1: How well received by your Board and CEO are your most challenging insights?
2: How often are you sought out for hidden insights that will measurably improve your stakeholders' performance?
3: How often does the value you create cut through the noise?

Read them again. They're big questions that have multiple dimensions.

This article was really more than just getting you to think about and answer each of those big questions. It was about your role in demonstrating courageous influence as a CFO.

Your answers to those questions will help you identify where you need to step up and out so you can guide your organisation's growth and success in 2023.

4. Do you want to be the Catalyst for High Performance in 2023?

Coming in at number 4, I think the answer is yes across the board!

I shared here the opportunity that exists for CFOs who start their year with a clear, focussed plan that gives you the capacity to exceed your own performance expectations.

Most CFOs focus on strategic plans, but in reality those plans deliver company stability only. Many of us also don't take the time or space to create our own plan for success, rather just defaulting to delivering their business plan.

Both of these scenarios can leave us feel a little empty and dissatisfied.

A catalyst plan is a holistic plan that gives you the freedom to play your game with the comfort of knowing you won't drop any balls.

I invite you to come and work with me to create yours - there are still a few seats left here.

Time's not the currency for CFOs - it's capacity.

5. Common CFO blind spots (and what to do about them)

I failed my drivers' license test in San Francisco because I didn't check my blind spot when I apparently crossed over a bike lane. I already had my Gold license in Australia so I thought I was a qualified, experienced driver!

The point is, we all have blind spots and in this article I shared the ones that most commonly become apparent when I work with CFOs and their finance teams:
1. Your finance team does need permission
2. The shadow you really cast
3. You are trying to do it all
4. You don't value your time...and talk too much
5. How much you're [not] growing

I'd encourage you to read this one fully so you can understand so you can incorporate relevant actions into your Catalyst plan. I also shared a couple of tools that I use with my clients to help diagnose where they're at to uncover their specific blind spots.

I hope you've found that recap helpful. Clearly CFOs:
1. Know that they're in the business of people
2. Want to drive success for themselves and their organisations
3. Want to uncover 'the secrets' that will unlock their next level of performance

What does success in 2023 look like for you?
How will you create capacity to achieve that success?
How will you keep it simple?

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.

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

 ⓒ 2023




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