We’re currently experiencing a period of slow economic growth. This means that CFOs decision-making abilities become more important than ever before. There is the need for innovative thinking, and the need to utilise capital with precision, timeliness and balance.
Where should capital be used for optimum business growth; and how can you continue being innovative without busting the budget? And in addition to these questions: how can you focus on long-term strategies, often under pressure, while making changes that stimulate growth and produce positive financial results?
According to Deloitte’s CFO, Frank Friedman, the most important part of surviving in the current economic climate is ensuring you incorporate transparent decision making and capital flexibility into financial strategies. Capital flexibility enables your company to grow during slow economic periods – investing only when necessary – in order to stabilise growth while ensuring your bottom line remains intact. This is the CFOs most vital job.
Strategy is always imperative in making financial decisions, but even more so during times of economic downturn. CFOs need to hold a strategical and financial vision at the same time, as the focus needs to be more long-term, rather than what’s going to be occurring next month or next quarter.
As a CFO, you need to ask yourself: “Are the financial decisions I’m making now going to affect the company in a positive way in two or three years time without risk exposure?”
What this means is that you need to understand the strategies before making actual decisions. Like anything – and regardless of the process you’re using – you cannot expect every strategy you undertake to work. But if you conduct a risk analysis and steadily analyse each perspective of a strategical decision, chances are you are going to have a much better chance of making the right one. This is the true mark of leadership.
First-class leaders are proactive in their decision making abilities. While it’s not uncommon for them to take risks; these risks are usually strategic in nature, data-driven and well calculated. While adapting financial data analytics, scenario planning, and econometric modelling, you can assist your company in becoming more opportunistic in identifying worthwhile investments.