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The changing role of the CFO: three tips for Brisbane’s financial leaders
When I speak to the financial leaders in my network, here are three topics that come up again and again:
Don’t just weather change: be the change
Great CFOs aren’t burying their heads in the sand when change comes knocking. They’re researching new trends before they hit, investigating ways to implement new technology and constantly innovating.
With the ability to slash inefficient systems and processes and collect more data than ever before, CFOs need to work with their teams to capitalise on those insights. Gaining access to new data and using it to help drive the business forward is one way I see CFOs really creating change in their roles and in the roles of their teams.
Where finance was once considered a process-based function, finance professionals are now growing the stakeholder engagement and influencing skills to partner with the business.
RELATED: “The CFO is now at the frontline”
Changing skillsets, changing mindsets
In times of change, employees can easily feel insecure. The CFOs I work with across Brisbane are working to build trust with their teams, taking an active leadership role in helping people adjust to a more agile mindset.
Our Global CFO & Financial Leadership Barometer found that CFOs are seen as change leaders who help drive the company forward, and I encourage my clients to think of themselves in that light – not just as the boss, but as visionary leaders.
When introducing a new system, for instance, it’s important to foster a culture of openness and trust, and also to influence mindsets to embrace change rather than resist it.
Remember the human element
As automation becomes a force to contend with, it’s important to remember the human impact of automating these processes. I encourage CFOs to work with HR to prioritise retention, developing programmes that help people transition into new areas and fill the roles that will inevitably emerge under the new system.
Reassuring finance teams that new roles will emerge where old ones have become less relevant is a key point for CFOs to act on to build trust not only in those whose roles are changing now, but also those whose roles will inevitably change in the future.
The common thread here is to prioritise trust and the human touch. To deliver innovative thinking and strategies, you also need the enthusiastic buy-in of your team, which comes from a sense of security and strong leadership.
Get in touch to talk to me about your team’s needs today.
Three things that CFOs need to keep in mind in a changing business environment are:
- Innovation – CFOs need to lead the charge and create change in their businesses.
- Leadership – changing mindsets of finance professionals so that they embrace and value change is crucial.
- Humanity – it’s essential not to forget the human impact of innovation – build trust and you’ll be rewarded.