CFO Dinner - "The CFO of the Future"

Last Thursday we had another very inspiring CFO Dinner. And it turned out not to be your ordinary dinner!

A boat full of inspiring and talented "CFO's of the Future" (Metallo Group, Showpad, Securitas, Jaguar Landrover, NHV, Orac, Finvision, ...) sailed us through the city of Ghent to our Restaurant. And the sailor happend to be me... The sailing lessons (thank you Katrien Devos !) definitely helped to bring this boat of highly valued human capital safely back and forth to the haven.

Geert Peeters, CFO of Metallo Group and winner of "Best Finance Team of the Year", took up the challenge on moderating this session. Thank You Geert!

And how! Well-prepared, very structured, always keeping an eye to ensure interaction and with a great sense of humor (yes Finance people do have humor ;-)) he made this a very successful and inspiring evening.

According to Geert - inspired by reading a lot of internet articles about the topic, and of course his own personal vision - 4 key areas will drive the CFO's of the Future:

  1. Business Partnering
  2. Strategic Direction
  3. Technology
  4. People Management

During the coming weeks we will be sharing more about the interactive discussions at this kick-off session. Allow me to already throw in a few statements from the participants.

The CFO of the Future will become more and more the Partner " Connecting the Dots".

The CFO from the past - the traditional & conservative "Accounting Expert" - is definitely old school. Although Compliance and Accounting correctness is seen as the ground rule No1 in Finance, today and definitely in the Future, the CFO has (or should have) a much more expanded skill-set - technical - as well as soft skills. Given the expectation that the CFO will get more and more responsibilities in the future (Finance, IT ?, Strategy ?, ...) , this would also mean that he/she would need to bridge more with multiple internal and external stakeholders. He/she will become the one "Connecting the Dots". Therefore the Communication skills of the CFO of the Future will definitely be broadened.

The current CEO will also need to adapt if they want to become CEO of the Future.

The CFO and CEO will be partnering and interact more and more in the future. In order to do this as efficient/effective as possible also the CEO of the Future will need to change. Would also be an interesting topic for one of our events by the way: How do CEO's see the CFO's of the future AND how do they see themselves evolve?

The (Quality) time spend Managing People will increase.
  • Although Operational Finance tasks are expected to be automated in the future (see our blog from last year with Marc Coppens - CEO Yuki), the Time working / coaching / inspiring employees will increase. People Management & Motivation will be Less Quantity More Quality.

Some other interesting Quotes that Geert shared with us:

“Organizations will look to CFO’s to offer innovative solutions to business issues, when in the past creativity might well have been discouraged, CFO is a real partner of the CEO and the Board”
“Never has there a been a more opportune time for CFOs to have an impact, with CEOs increasingly looking to them to help shape direction and strategy”
“It’s become a job too big for any one individual to do well, given all responsibilities and the incredible contrast between the day-to-day tactical controllership functions, and the very long-term, strategic, executive functions. It’s now more important than ever to not just worry about their role but also the team they surround themselves with.”

After this very inspiring session I decided that we should build further on this. The 4 key areas (1. Business Partnering, 2. Strategic Direction, 3. Technology, 4. People Management) will be separately discussed during our future CFO events.

July 14th (opening evening of The Gentse Feesten !) we will have the next session "The CFO of the Future Part 1. Business Partnering" moderated by Isabelle Van Iseghem. Very excited to hear what her vision and the ones of the attendees will be. If you would like to attend, click this link and subscribe.

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