Companies in growth mode face great challenges. One of the biggest challenges a growing company faces is bringing in their first Real CFO.
A growing company built on entrepreneurial spirit can only continue to grow so far on that spirit alone. At a critical juncture in the life of a growing business, it needs to make a transition from decisions made by the entrepreneur alone to a dynamic team that works on a business model of delegation of responsibility and co-operation between interests within the company.
This is an inflection point for many successful growth companies — when a CFO is recruited because the management disciplines that grew the enterprise to its current state will not be enough to take it to the next level.
Intellectually, the CEO and other key managers may know things need to change. But that doesn’t mean they’ll be comfortable with a CFO who asks tougher questions, instills new disciplines or has a fiduciary responsibility to the investors as well as a loyalty to the management team.
So, what is the answer? How do you strengthen CFO readiness when the next level of success takes people out of their comfort zones? Courage.
The Courage Institute wrote the book on The Courage to Act — about 5 Courage Factors that equip effective leaders to challenge the status quo, champion new possibilities and get traction on breakthrough ideas and improvements. This is the foundation of the CFO Readiness Program.
The CFO Readiness Program is an assessment, feedback and action planning program that works to equip the entire executive team to:
- Strengthen and align your veteran executives — so they have the courage to welcome new thought-leadership and collaboration
- Clarify your wish-list of expectations and priorities for the new CFO
- Prepare for healthy debates and challenges to “the way we have done things here” as the new CFO identifies new opportunities
- Equip the new CFO to conduct an independent assessment of your enterprise’s infrastructure, financial well-being and resources
- Ensure career paths and mentoring opportunities for the finance executives who brought the enterprise to its current level
- Identify fears, sensitivities and bridge-building that the new CFO could face — and ways to build courage to lift performance
- Lift courage to embrace and accelerate change to get traction on new metrics, new ways of working and new ways to ensure regulatory compliance and good investor/board relations
- Identify debates, deferred decisions and risk factors that the new CFO will face — and the input desired from the new CFO
- See how to move past rivalries, turf-issues, personality clashes and other fear-inducing courage inhibitors that can reduce luminary efficiency at the executive and middle management levels
- Invite scrutiny and transparency to sharpen up team thinking
- Navigate matrix structures, networks and alliances — where it is not clear “who is in charge” or “who settles which debates”
- Overcome fear and reluctance — as veteran members of the executive team are asked for courage to share decision-making discretion and authority with a new CFO
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