Gerber: I think one one term, even if CFOs have different roles that resonates with everyone, and isn’t everyone’s area of responsibility is the annual operating plan, or the AOP, as we all affectionately call it. When I was at Mattel and corporate FP&A. I participated in that and helped lead it for three years, and I saw three different approaches, the tops down the bottoms up, and let’s call it a bit of a hybrid with driving some alignment across the brand and the commercial teams up front. Now, in my experience, neither is perfect, neither tops down, nor bottoms up, they both fall short. On one hand, you risk creating unrealistic expectations, people don’t feel bought in, they don’t feel like they’ve had an opportunity to have a voice, you know, in their what they need as resources and investments in planning.Read More
And on the other, you know, you see submissions that may have a bit more cushion might not be as efficient. And also people are submitting a bid in silos without that unifying vision. And so that leads to you know, wasteful planning and misalignment. So that shaped my approach it chromadex And I tend to take a hybrid approach tops down bottoms up, it also suits my asking powerful questions, like I mentioned earlier, and, you know, powerful questions. I when someone said that to me, I said, what is that? What do they mean by that, that I ask powerful questions? Well, it’s according to one definition, they’re open ended, they empower the person responding to choose the direction they take. They create possibilities, encouraged discovery, deeper understanding and new insights. They’re curious and non judgmental.
They seek further learning and connection. I love that. So I really bring that to the AOP process, before I became CFO and continuing as CFO. A couple of finance strategic moments that build on each other and that one is, I came to realize that the ALP was new to Chromadex. Unlike Mattel, where they’ve been doing it for years, leaders were accustomed it was new to us. And it had become a tool to drive prioritization of resources, which was not efficient LED to churn that lead to reduce and rework and it just wasn’t a good experience for people even if we got to a good result at the end. So in partnership with the CEO and our head of HR and the leadership team, we dialed in our goals for the year and building to the next year in objectives and key results and then ensure that the ALP submissions just very much laddered up and aligned to those. So that was a important step. And it got us closer. That clarity was good, but it wasn’t the whole puzzle. So when One aha moment, aha moment or finance strategic insight was decided to take the numbers present scenarios, and actually translate the numbers into words. What are these scenarios telling us? What do you need to believe? What’s included? What’s not included, you know, just basically translated into the story, if you will. And that story telling was my finance strategic moment, because I realized, of course, I know the numbers, I would think every CFO knows the numbers, their teams know the numbers, you can speak to them, and you’re accurate. But it’s really that storytelling that you can get people to buy in to what they mean. And do they agree with them? Do they not? Are we missing something. And so that was really my finance strategic moment that I thought was very successful of taking that approach. And I look forward to building on that in the future.
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CFO GUEST: Brianna Gerber of ChromaDex
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