Yes. I’m biased when it comes to this conversation.
But I’m not the only one that thinks this.
Numerous CFO research studies, surveys, roundtables, panel discussions and webinars bring up the talent topic again and again.
Talent is a challenge for the CFO.
I have had a successful speaking circuit this past spring, including panel discussions in New York and Toronto, webinars to diverse groups of finance professionals (CPA Canada and APQC), and presentations in Washington and Baltimore. The talent conversation keeps coming up again and again.
I even received this report from Deloitte in my email this morning. Here is what they have to say on the subject:
“Talent availability—and costs. Finding and developing the right talent is invariably a top agenda item for transitioning CFOs. In fact, when we ask CFOs what they would like their legacy to be, a large number actually talk about leaving a sustainable organization that can foster finance talent. To get there means identifying people not only with the necessary skill sets, but also intangibles—such as curiosity and the ability to team—that will help finance become a better business partner. It comes at a cost, though, in terms of developing effective performance management systems, compensation systems, training programs, and coaching. And while human resources should be the natural support organization in all these areas, CFOs often find they have to rely on their own teams to do the work. Still, without the right people in place, there are bigger costs: the inability to execute on a CFO’s critical initiatives and a lack of good finance ambassadors throughout the organization.”
My CFO Advisors, in my blog earlier this year titled The Sleepless CFO, listed talent as one of the top 3 things that keep them awake at night.
The CFO Relationship Map (mentioned in previous blogs, and in more detail in Guide to CFO Success), shows that CFOs rely on their Finance Team to support them to become the best CFO they can be. Yet CFOs continue to have challenges with talent.
Talent challenges for the CFO include:
- Not having the right talent they need today
- Not having a talent plan for the future
- Not aligning the talent in the finance team to meet the real needs of the organization
- Not using career planning to keep, motivate and develop the best finance talent
- Inefficient or ineffective hiring processes for the talent needed today and tomorrow
- Not having an effective relationship with HR to positively impact the finance team
Talent is an opportunity for the CFO
Yet, with all these talent challenges, the CFO has a great opportunity make a significant impact. These challenges are not insurmountable, they just need attention.
CFOs that pay attention to these issues, even if not getting perfect scores, are in a position to have a significant impact on their personal success, the success of the people that work for them, and the entire organization.
CFO: What is your biggest finance talent opportunity?