Maersk CFO Trond Westlie outlines his rules for success in Issue 9 of EY’s Capital Insights:
- Use what’s already in the business but improve upon it. Even though you may have different views on how things should be done, the business has evolved over many years. You need to optimize what is already in the business.
- You have to make sure the processes that drive the finance and performance management functions are structured and transparent. Everyone in the organization needs to know about them.
- Get rid of budgets. They are a waste of time. The world is changing so much, so the only thing budgets are good for is cost control. And most businesses know how many cars, offices and people they need, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
- Agility is key. For a company to react to changes in any sector, you need the agility to understand and address the circumstances that are hitting you.
- Implement decision-making powers as far down in the organization as you can. Of course, you should have a clear chain of command when it comes to decision-making, but the less that the business depends on hierarchies, the better.
- When you go into a partnership, particularly overseas, it is vital that you are not only in sync with those companies, but that you do business in a way that is acceptable to local communities.
This is a good evolution of the historical focus areas – cost drivers, control points and change agents – for anyone involved with finance organizations. It’s interesting that many of these could apply just as well to managing your personal environment.