In a world where the only thing that is constant is change, we can still sometimes be surprised how things turn out.
Today is the beginning of a new adventure for me.
Yet in many ways, today starts more of the same. Over the last years I have identified that I have a passion for working with CFOs and I started writing and speaking about my favourite people. In starting Dergel CFO Search & Consulting, I get to focus on what gets my juices going.
What I have learned over the past years is that the model that most companies use for hiring their CFO is, at best, weak. Many companies treat the hiring of this critical role as if the role of the CFO is not important. They are not willing to invest time and money into a process that seriously evaluates their real needs, a process that involves a proper and planned search which identifies and attracts the best people possible, and a process that ensures that the new CFO can be properly integrated into the company culture and that the expectations from the CFO are properly aligned with the CEO, Board and other stakeholders.
The state of CFO Search across North America has me upset. So it’s time to do something about it. I will be doing 2 things
- I’m going to perform CFO Search the way it is meant to be performed. Now I’m not going to change the world this way, but I will have a direct impact on my clients and their new CFOs. I will certainly be proud of the work that pays me. I do realize that the impact will be limited, especially compared to the next thing I’m going to do.
- I’m going to be talk, blog, tweet, present and discuss with whoever will listen about how CFO Search needs to change. How it needs to change so that companies and ALL its stakeholders can ensure that they get the best value from hiring a new CFO. Value is much more than just the dollar cost of a search. It costs the company in visible and invisible ways when they hire a CFO without a proper search. I know I will make a bigger impact here – an impact that will have tremendous reach and scope – much more than the numbers of CFO Searches I will be working on.
As committed as I am to ensuring that CFOs get hired in the best manner possible, I am committed as well to the ongoing success of the CFO. All CFOs, whether newly hired or veterans in a company, face multiple challenges on an ongoing and daily basis.
The biggest challenge CFOs face is not technical.
The biggest challenge CFOs face is people.
CFOs face different expectations from the multiple people they are responsible to. They are stuck between a rock and a rock and a rock. They have to keep the CEO, the Board and the shareholders happy. CFOs must keep creditors happy and the auditors satisfied. He or she works with and supports the other executives in the company. The CFO needs a well oiled and functioning finance team that supports him or her with correct and timely information. The talent on their team needs to be properly managed – from hiring, retaining and training, as well as planning for leadership succession in the finance group.
Again, as in CFO Search I will be doing 2 things to helps CFOs be the best in their roles.
- I will be working directly with CFOs to help them face these people challenges. I’m looking forward to the direct impact and close relationships I will have with my CFO clients, and adding multiples of value for these CFOs and their companies.
- Beginning today, I will be providing opportunities for CFOs to become engaged about the people challenges they face, and providing different forums that will allow CFOs to discuss these issues amongst themselves & help them learn from each other. The forums will be using different methods, from online to in person. My involvement in this area will be to engage and facilitate discussions that make a difference to a group I feel connected to and passionate about.
If I still have your attention, and what I have discussed here resonates with you, I urge you to reach out to me and let me know your thoughts (comment here or email me blog at dergelcfo dot com). I am embarking on a new adventure that I intend to have a positive and significant impact for companies and CFOs. If you are passionate about what I will be discussing, your engagement will make a big difference. I urge you not to sit on the sidelines and watch, but participate to help shift the importance of CFO Search & Consulting to the level it needs to be at. Help me help you.
M.J. Plebon says
This is wonderful news. It is always great to here about someone who decides to follow their passion.
Lets keep in touch!
Bob Vandry says
Up to now you’ve always been able to point yourself in the right direction and I can’t see how this new venture would be any different. No need to wish you luck, I know this will work out very well for you.
Sylvie A. Bouchard says
Well Samuel, I am inspired! Congratulations on discovering, nurturing and following your passion. I look forward to see it fly to the moon! Enjoy yourself – and remember to always live your best life! It takes the best in you to do so… Bravo!
Cindy Kraft says
Congrats, Samuel! Exciting for you and for all the CFOs you will be helping. I wish you HUGE success!
Catherine Sabbagh says
Hi Sam! Congratulations on your new venture and keep following your dreams & passion!
Very interesting comments which raise many questions… moving CFO’s from looking at dollars and cents to what is underneath. Sounds tricky! you have the skills to move forward!
All the best
Howard Lohner says
Sam, you always bring your full game to any challenge that you take on. I am looking forward to hearing more about the success of your “new adventure”!
Alexandre Bouhadana says
All the best on your new initiative !
Good luck Sam, and keep up the good work
Pierre Galarneau C.A. says
I think your business vision is well focused. Now you have to figure out a way to get to the decision makers before they make the decision to hire. That is not easy given some of these decisions are taken in closed circuits, or corporate offices away from the Montreal scene.
What is the best way to reach CEO’s? Certainly there are many tools!
I can help you in many ways.
You know how to reach me.
Joe Miceli says
Good luck Sam!
Samuel Dergel says
As I wind down my first day of my new venture, I am grateful for the good wishes, questions and input from everyone.
Jack Kincler says
Whatever it is that you do, good luck with it.
I hope it gives you also a good living.
Ron Strauss says
The CFO is a key figure in understanding which activities within the firm are responsible for value creation. And, then, making sure those activities are supported. However, in many countries intangible value creation, for example in the form of brand asset value, is not reported on the balance sheet. This, as you point out, calls for people skills. It calls for someone who can knock down the walls of the silos, and encourage cross-silo communications and cooperation. It also calls for insight into which metrics really count.
Good luck on your new venture…
P.S.- Bill Neal and I co-authored ‘Value Creation: The Power of Brand Equity.’ We explore topics about the role of the CFO that may be of interest to you.