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Are We Strategic Yet?

Early in a CFO's tenure, the things that matter most often get the least attention.

Roy Harris, CFO Magazine
February 1, 2008

Committing to Grow Long-Term Stakeholder Wealth

In my 21 years of C-level, primarily CFO, experience, I have found that beginning with the interview process with the CEO and the Board, it is critical to communicate one's focus. While different strategies (and foci) are dictated by company circumstances, in general I would agree with the McKinsey report that one must quickly ascertain the quality of the people and processes...and the critical company needs. Generally, still in the first week, one should be setting goals for the first month, first quarter, the next quarter, and the first year as a whole. That puts the focus squarely on corporate strategy and business development and that must be communicated to the CEO and Board, gaining accord on what realistically needs to be accomplished when. Changes in financial staff personnel in the first 100 days should address leaks through additions or significant problems. It would be a mistake to start tearing down whatever foundation one might have before gaining a knowledge of what one can build upon. One of the detriments of SarbOx has been in compelling most CFOs to act on reporting and compliance issues to the detriment of corporate strategy, getting caught up in the leaves and branches of the trees before having an aerial view of the forest and how one best can grow it.

Posted by John Henrie | February 16, 2008 01:01 pm

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