Repositioning Financial Controller: using Option Solving

A CFO for a fast growing entrepreneurial network engineering company was being challenged by her President to relieve herself of most of the day-to-day tasks of running her financial group. He wanted her to step up and become more strategic and future oriented, assisting with acquisitions and better financial packaging of the technology products that were used in client solutions. To step up she also had to get her people to step up, particularly her controller. Her controller had to take on more of the day-to-day financial activities, in conjunction with being more responsible for the development of her small financial team.

The CFO’s challenge was how to achieve this, especially as her controller was home grown, like herself, and was immersed in the daily detail and routines without looking much at the bigger picture. If you go to the Latest Example, you will see the relatively simple question the CFO posed with an objective sounding board. This brought about the two “bookends” – “Leave controller acting as she is” and at the other end “Consider outsourcing the financial function.” Neither was obviously appropriate but they were another important step to framing the issue that needed to be solved.

Once these were on paper and in the open, the CFO’s mind started racing, drawing upon her considerable intuitive intelligence accumulated over the years. Even though she may never have been posed this exact same issue before, her intuitive mind could find many parallels and similar situations which would help her come up with the most realistic options. As can be seen again in the Latest Example (as well as in the book “Smart Decisions”), the CFO came up with six alternatives before exhausting her options. Then she set them aside for a while, as she worked on some other related matters, to emotionally distance herself from the possibilities. Other activities allowed her intuitive mind to process the information and possibilities in a more subconscious way.

An hour or two later, she returned to her sheet, see Latest Example, and made her intuitive choice. It’s interesting to see a few months further on how both people have made some significant strides. The CFO is getting much more involved in acquisition moves, as well as positioning the company better with its major suppliers. The controller is stepping up to handle more of the daily financial issues, including finding a way to present monthly financials earlier in the month.   (Next week’s posting: Looking at the best option for developing a New Financial Stream…Please also make COMMENTS for connecting with the author)

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