For many organizations, capturing real-time data is no longer a goal but now a reality. However, for those firms determined to accumulate these real-time bits and digital details, the old adage about house guests and fish seems to apply: After 3 days, the former begin to smell like the latter.
This is an aroma that has become particularly unsettling to CFOs who find themselves increasingly being tasked with untangling the organizational snags that frequently stall business meetings and slow the flow of real-time data insights to key decision-makers within the organization.
To help us to better understand the efforts afoot to liberate the flow of data and remove this foul scent, we were pleased to once more catch up with Darrell Cox, CFO of Vena, who never hesitates to expose the complexity of the organizational collaboration required for Vena to empower its decision-makers with the data on which they rely to scale correctly and look beyond the next quarter. –Jack Sweeney
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CFOTL: How does a finance leader know when his or her team is serving the organization correctly?
Cox: It begins with answering a few questions. What are you doing as a finance team or as finance leader to support your organization? Are you slowing things down? Are you getting in the way? Are you critical and cynical and always coming up with a negative and telling people what to do when you’re really not the person who’s supposed to know? You’re not the pro? This is not your role. Are you approaching things like that? I mean, this really boils down to a communication’s skill, right? The value you’re delivering, is it timely? Is it aligned with the team’s objectives? Are you empathetic? Do you understand the different team members around the table and what their objectives are, and are you kind of helping them to succeed? Are you providing them what can help them, a benefit? Are you communicating and providing the information that you are able to deliver in the most effective way? I guess this what things boil down to.Read More
You might show up new to an organization and find a sales or marketing organization that’s not collecting this data or perhaps is doing it manually. Here’s an opportunity to improve your company and maybe a teammate’s performance by assisting them through the collection and analysis of data, which is right in finance’s wheelhouse. Ideally, if you communicated about this situation in the right way, it should foster a better relationship and improve the performance of your organization and allow everyone to be more successful.
There’s definitely politics and there are definitely silos and boundaries and all of this stuff to deal with, so things can be complicated, but I think that in the big picture, if you are delivering value in a constructive, team-like, and empathetic way—in which everyone’s goals are aligned so that everyone is going to do better—you should have some success. Your efforts should be impactful for the organization and yourself. Even if you’re in an organization that already has all of this, getting ahold of these concepts and participating in the processes in the right way will help you as a finance person, too. It will help you to deliver a better plan. It will help the organization to be more agile. It will help you to be more successful overall. Regardless of whether a firm has good real-time data practices, I think that finance definitely can be a better business partner by getting involved with this. It can help the company with data in so many different ways, as well as help its own team and finance processes at the same time.
“How do you influence and lead others without friction? You put yourself in their position and begin by assisting them. If you can make their job easier and make them more successful, they will start coming to you.” –Darrell Cox, CFO, Vena
Vena | www.venasolutions.com | Toronto, ON