By Andy Burrows, 22 October 2018
During my career, I’ve sometimes worked at the top level in Finance, and had the privilege of sitting alongside other functional heads in the “Senior Management Team” or “The Exec”, or even “The Board of Directors”.
Obviously one of the chief ways we stayed in touch with each other, and with what was going on, was to have “Management Meetings” on a regular basis. Normally, the main meeting would be once a month, centred around the management accounts. And sometimes we would also have weekly, less formal meetings.
When you’re more junior, you see the FD or the CFO going off to these meetings. And you have a picture in your mind of what goes on. You picture high powered discussions, with quality arguments and analysis, talking strategy and making sensible decisions.
The reality is often quite different. The meetings are often frustrating, boring and nowhere near as useful as they should be....
By Andy Burrows
Getting business strategy right is not easy.
The definition of strategy is simple enough: “a plan of action to achieve an aspiration or overcome a problem”. And the process of arriving at the plan sounds so easy: define the objective (vision, aspiration, problem), assess the current state and therefore the gaps, and decide how to get from where you are to where you want to go.
One of the things that makes it difficult is knowing where to start in assessing the current state. There are so many factors you could take into account. It’s sometimes difficult to see the wood for the trees.
And performance measurement has similar issues. I’ve written previously about the need to make sure you’re looking at the right performance measures – KPIs.
What we need in both cases is to be focused on the “performance drivers” or “value drivers”.
So, in this article I want to introduce you to a very simple tool called the...
By Andy Burrows
[First published 21 February 2018]
[This article is also on LinkedIn - why not "Follow+" Andy and give the article a "like"?]
This is part of a series of articles looking at Finance activities, and basically asking 'why?' The premise is that understanding why we do things helps us to do them better. It may even fundamentally change the way that we do them. If you haven't seen it already, take a look at the introductory article that explains the approach I'm taking: The Purpose-Driven CFO Part 1: Introduction
I guess the first question that might spring to mind is why consideration of strategy falls into a series about Finance. To some, Finance is still the bean counting, number crunching, function. And to them, the CFO is still the chief beancounter. These people don’t see Finance as having anything to do with business strategy. They see Finance as the people who count the pennies spent and pennies received,...
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