CFOs play a significant and vital role in their organizations, certainly. But, the needs of organizations are always evolving. Your Middle Market company should be looking forward always. So, does your current CFO have the skills and talents necessary for your future success?
What role will the CFO play in ten or twenty years in your company? Think now about the additional areas of expertise you’ll want from your CFO in the future. Now, you can start planning what your future CFO needs will be.
Going Beyond Money
Certainly, tomorrow’s successful CFOs will continue to need a strong financial background. But, they likely will be asked to take on other responsibilities. So, financial knowledge alone won’t cut it. CFOs will likely become more involved in strategic planning for the entire company. Therefore, they’ll need to understand sales, operations, and overall business functions. Aim for very well-rounded knowledge when you look to hire.
As the last few years have shown us, Big Data and data collection, in general, are becoming more and more important. Since your CFO might be seen as the “numbers” person in your organization, it may make sense to have them become more involved in data collection, extrapolation, and interpretation.
Technology continues to improve and change at a lightning quick pace and that likely won’t be slowing down anytime soon. If the CFO role takes on more of a data involvement, they’ll also need to work more closely with your technology team. The CFO will need to speak technology to a certain extent so they can direct how, where and when to collect data as well as what data should be kept and how it will be analyzed and used.
What To Do To Prepare
What steps you take ultimately depend on your current CFO and their capabilities, the direction your Middle Market organization is heading and what your CFO desires for the future. Ideally, all three areas would align so your current CFO can grow and adapt with the company.
If that seems to be the case, you’ll want to start including your CFO in the areas mentioned above. You’ll likely need to invest in additional training and education. Your CFO will need a strong leadership team to connect with and may benefit from assistance locating a peer group or mentor with experience in the key areas you’ve identified.
Your job as the main leadership will be to pave some of the roads for your CFO as well as to help them negotiation some of the nuances of learning big data and technology. Obviously, if your CFO doesn’t have the desire or abilities to facilitate the changes your Middle Market firm desires, you’ll have to work on the process to transition and/or replace them. While they may not be moving the same direction as your company, don’t think immediately replacing them is the answer. They likely have immeasurable skills and knowledge to help you start on your transition.
As you look towards the future of your company and the world, evaluating how your CFO will potentially need to change and adapt will help your Middle Market firm be ready.
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