By Ernie Humphrey, CTP
CFOs are not known for their people skills, yet CFOs need to build a team of “A players” who possess the skills to deliver on the ever-expanding responsibilities that fall under the umbrella of the Office of the CFO. Here are five key building blocks that CFOs can use to construct a Finance team that optimizes the strategic value delivered by your organization:
1. Develop for the Future
Companies need to invest in the professional AND personal development of their teams. Finance needs to collaborate with HR to define success in Finance, identify the skills the Finance Teams need to succeed and collaborate to develop and manage these skills. Informed decisions need to be made whether to train-up or acquire new talent to fill existing or emerging skills gaps in Finance.
2. Define Success
CFOs need to collaborate directly with each employee to define professional success on an individual level and then collaborate with all team members to define departmental success. CFOs can collaborate with HR to establish benchmarks of accountability, both personal and team-oriented, and to provide the right incentives to meet goals that align with company success.
3. Team Diversity
A Finance team will have a portfolio of personalities as well as a portfolio of skills. CFOs need to work with Finance to create a team that has the right balance of personalities. There are tools such as DISC and the GC Index that can help in this regard. A work environment needs to inspire teamwork, mitigate drama, and establish a culture of innovation and collaboration.
4. Collaborative Culture
Strategy execution often requires all cylinders firing at the right speed and in harmony. Supporting professional and personal development, establishing personal accountability for team members, and offering a work environment tailored to the personality portfolio of your team will foster effective collaboration. This will allow your Finance team to execute effectively and always fire on all cylinders.
5. Consistent Communication
Honest and open communication among each team member in an environment in which each person feels informed and valued will sustain high performance as Finance needs to react and adjust to the dynamics of today’s ever-evolving business environment.