How does having a greater purpose influence your decision-making as a finance leader? Join us when Jennifer Templeman, COO of Jumpstart for Young Children, reveals her CFO mind-set and explains how building a career inside the not-for-profit sector has helped her to unlock the motivational secrets of organizational culture.
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Over the next 12 months, what are your top priorities as a finance leader?
Jennifer Templeman: Over the next 12 months, I am looking to do two things. One is to help to continue building the culture at Jumpstart around continuous improvement so that people understand that every single role, or every single person within our organization, has a role to play in continually improving what it is that we do together. We do that by taking very tiny things that we have control over and finding a way to change them and testing out to see if that actually did improve things. Then we either adapt or adopt or toss out and try again. That sort of constant documenting, trying to improve and then pushing forward for greater success or efficiency in the future.
That is one, and because it’s a cultural shift, it does take time, so 12 months would be sort of the minimum required for something like that. The other is that there is this huge push, in nonprofits especially, about data-driven decision-making. I need to spend a lot of time around the organization in helping people to understand the data that we have available to us, data about the success of what Jumpstart does, in particular, but also data about our funding model; our funding streams; our funders, in particular; our board members; and individuals who want to give to us—and making sure that they have all of the data that they need to really understand.
We do have children as customers, but we also have funders that we have to report to, and being able to balance those competing interests in many ways is really complicated and takes a lot of time digging into the data, so helping people to not be afraid of that and then providing the metrics and resources in order to access what they need to talk to all those different constituencies is very important. ¤