What advice do you offer CFOs on positioning for recovery following the recession? “There’s a need to ‘audit’ and reset the strategies of the organisation to drive new growth opportunities, value creation and manage strategic risk. The primary challenge for most organisations is to achieve profitable growth and innovation and co-create the future with their customers, employees and other stakeholders. This requires developing the business case for growth opportunities that will allow companies to move beyond the ‘new normal’ and start growing the business again. Strengthening enterprise risk management (ERM) for competitive advantage is another challenge. Boards of directors are asking executive teams to focus on strategic risks and to strengthen ERM in ways that’ll complement the business strategy and drive competitive advantage.”
What recommendations do you make to CFOs who are stretched ‘keeping the lights on’? “CFOs can think over two levels of strategic leadership: Level 1 is ‘managing the present’, which focuses on keeping the lights on, keeping customers and so on. Level 2 is ‘co-creating the future’, which involves innovation for future growth. This means balancing focus on executing strategy while continuing to develop options for growth in the future.”
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