What does it mean to be a future ready CFO?
Last week I had the privilege of speaking to a group of CFOs at the Mid-Atlantic CFO Roundtable and had a chance to have a dialog with group of CFOs about their challenges and how they are dealing with this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous) world.
Future ready is the ability to be proactive and anticipatory in a rapidly changing world. It is the capacity to be aware, predictive and adaptive of of emerging technology and trends in business, demographics, and the social environment impacting your organization and industry.
Top challenges spell danger
The No. 1 challenge they identified is being reactive versus proactive. This means they are prone to ‘hunker down’ and miss those weak signals of disruptive change coming at them. It is this situation that poses the highest risk of disruption and when businesses need you the most.
“significant change is here and we need to be ahead of the curve and get proactive” – CFO participant
How to be a future ready CFO
So, here are my five steps to be a future ready CFO:
- Initiate Change – Disrupt yourself before someone else does!
- Go Digital – The exponential pace of change in technology means you must use automation to your advantage.
- Elevate Skills – If you automate, you must elevate your skill and those of your team. Anticipation is the secret to being proactive.
- Protect the Core – When everything is changing, it is important to know what won’t change. Your purpose and values as an organization should provide a constant.
- Enjoy the Ride – You can’t stop the waves if change, but you can learn how to ride them!
To learn more about becoming a future ready CFO, check out the Anticipatory Organization™: Accounting and Finance Edition.
More resources on finance transformation: