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CFO Article Archive: Talent & Career Matters

Deloitte writes and compiles a regular stream of CFO-centric content and timely features, including research, topical digests, perspectives, and insights and technical analyses, in a special section of CFO Journal, an online publication from The Wall Street Journal.

The articles below and others are available in PDF. Also see our CFO Insights bi-weekly thought leadership.

Lessons from the lab: It takes more than “Dr. No” to create value

Ajit Kambil, global research director for Deloitte's CFO Program, discusses how incoming and established CFOs can overcome being perceived as naysayers and instead be viewed as value creators.

Making succession planning for hedge funds effective

Understand some of the critical elements of succession planning and leadership transition for hedge funds and different approaches that can be taken.

CFOs seek to improve finance’s strategic planning capabilities

With finance spending more time influencing business strategy and operational priorities, CFOs want to improve their finance organization’s strategic capabilities, according to Deloitte's 4Q 2012 CFO Signals™ survey.

Getting the CFO-CIO relationship “right”

Technology, social media and the growing threat of cybersecurity are forcing CFOs and CIOs to work more closely together, but their relationship can be bumpy. Learn steps they both can take to enhance their relationship.

For the CFO board member: CEO succession planning and talent considerations

Learn issues and steps to consider in establishing an effective CEO succession planning process, one of the most important tasks for a board of directors.

Lessons from the lab: How CFOs can build a strong relationship with the CEO and the board

Ajit Kambil, Global Research Director for Deloitte's CFO Program, discusses how incoming CFOs can build strong relationships with their CEOs and boards.

Data-driven: The New CFO/CIO dynamic

Learn about the new dynamics in the CFO/CIO relationship, why the focus on data may lead to improved decision-making and questions CFOs should ask CIOs to get the information they need.

Strategy and growth decisions and major change initiatives add to CFOs’ career stresses

Large-company CFOs say decision-making around business strategy and organic growth has presented the highest degree of difficulty, according to Deloitte's 3Q 2012 CFO Signals™ survey.

Lessons from the lab: The Importance of talent assessment and relationship-building to new CFOs

Ajit Kambil, global research director for Deloitte's CFO Program, discusses how incoming CFOs can tackle two early priorities: addressing talent issues or gaps and establishing relationships with business leaders inside and outside the organization.

Leading the multigenerational finance department

Understand the leadership challenges associated with managing a multigenerational finance department, and younger employees’ views of what a finance career entails.

Selecting leaders to help capture the value of a deal

Learn five steps and issues to consider when selecting the leadership team of a newly combined organization.

CFOs see growing demand for soft skills, more stress from company performance

Building internal relationships and strategic thinking are becoming more critical to CFOs’ career success, according to Deloitte’s second-quarter CFO Signals survey, which also found CFOs pressured by change initiatives and concern over poor company performance.

Developing a finance talent strategy: Two case studies

Two case studies illustrate what leading companies are doing to enhance their finance talent strategies, in light of the finance talent shortage and greater demands on finance teams.

Survey finds businesses reshaping talent strategies to build leadership, global growth

Learn how companies are reshaping talent strategies to address a potential shortage of leadership and talent, and other findings from Talent Edge 2020: Redrafting Talent Strategies for the Uneven Recovery.

Finance and the war for talent: The role of audit committees

The war for finance talent means companies could face a shortage, posing a risk to the business. Both audit committees and management have a role to play to encourage the development of finance talent.

Improving the cost/benefit of the workforce and business performance

CFOs often have little insight into how workforce expenses and resources relate to performance. Working with HR, it’s possible to better manage the total cost of employees and align the people strategy with business goals.

Success factors for attracting and retaining finance talent

Deep involvement of managers, commitment of executive management, mentoring programs and on-the-job stretch experience can help CFOs attract, grow and retain top finance performers.

CFOs enjoying the career challenges and rewards of their expanding role

The CFO role has become more demanding and broader, but also more interesting, influential, visible and financially rewarding, according to CFOs of large North American companies responding to Deloitte’s 1Q 2012 CFO Signals™ survey.

How transformative leadership skills can deliver success in M&A

Realizing the benefits of M&A deals requires transformative leaders to develop the new organization’s strategic vision and operating model and identify the people, processes and technologies needed to drive performance and satisfy customers.

As CFOs’ roles expand finance talent concerns rise to the top

Between the demands made of finance teams and talent shortages, retaining and developing finance talent is a key issue in 2012, according to Deloitte’s CFO Signals™ surveys.

Executive compensation: Plan, perform and pay

By engaging the board, HR and the CRO, CFOs can help shape executive compensation practices to better align pay and performance.

Anticipating and defusing talent problems during an M&A deal

For many, M&A is a “right brain” specialty, where financials and analytics are what matter, but relationship building, reconciling cultural differences and addressing employee uncertainty can be just as crucial to deal success.

Despite heavy workloads, CFOs content with work/life balance

Roughly two-thirds of CFOs responding to Deloitte’s CFO Signals 4Q 2011 survey were satisfied with their heavy workload, but concerned about insufficient support staff and the quantity, quality and reliability of information.

“Driver” CFOs may be in the driver’s seat

A Deloitte analysis of CEO and CFO working styles suggests that CFOs who are “Drivers”----analytical, logical, experimental, determined, decisive, direct, tough-minded---competitive and pragmatic have above-average flexibility in pairing with CEOs.

How worker passion can help companies improve performance for the long term

John Hagel III, co-chair of the Deloitte Center for the Edge with John Seely Brown, argues that unless companies view employees as assets and restructure to address social and economic trends, they’ll experience long-term performance erosion.

Private mid-market company leaders expect more hires, fewer layoffs than public counterparts

From growth expectations for their own companies, to uncertainty over the economic turmoil, productivity and hiring plans, business leaders at private middle-market companies projected outlooks that set them apart from their public company counterparts.

Economic turmoil increases demands on large-company finance teams

Volatility had large organizations pushing for greater finance support, and finance teams were finding it challenging to keep pace, according to Deloitte’s CFO Signals™ 3Q 2011 survey.

Do you have the finance talent you need now?

A strategic finance talent program can help CFOs differentiate good employees from critical players, understand departure triggers and keep talent confident in the organization’s leadership.

Wealth planning: Important considerations in today’s environment

By tending to often overlooked aspects of wealth planning—keeping documents current, reviewing estate liquidity and timing of the transfer of assets—wealthy individuals and families can plan for their legacy.

Volatile business environment keeps large-company CFOs under stress

Major change initiatives, strategic ambiguity and changing regulatory requirements were CFOs’ top three job stresses, according to Deloitte’s CFO Signals™ 3Q 2011 survey.

The CFO transitions playbook, part 4: Regrets and lessons learned in the first year of taking the reins

As a CFO transitions into the role, quick moves on talent and thorough upfront cultural due diligence can help save precious time to focus on executing their priorities—and can also save them from later regrets.

Four faces of the CFO

Deloitte’s “Four Faces of the CFO” framework delineates the roles CFOs play as Strategist, Catalyst, Steward and Operator and the areas of focus, functions and the competencies needed for each role, plus the issues and stakeholders they can encounter in each one.

Innovation and global markets: Key themes in human capital

Talent has become a strategic business priority, and two themes in human capital trends—innovation and global markets—have taken a front-row seat for CFOs and other C-suite executives, as well as HR.

Portfolio compensation equity plans – the details matter

When equity-based incentive compensation plans are set up, proactive accounting can help to mitigate future compensation charges and earnings surprises.

Getting an “A" on say-on-pay: How CFOs can lead the way

CFOs can take a lead role in educating and communicating with top shareholders on executive compensation plans and should understand the voting practices and policies of major shareholders and proxy advisers.

The CFO transitions playbook, part 3: Making a difference

After completing the first 180 days of a transition, the next 12 months for CFOs are about making a difference to the organization, perhaps the most important transitional phase to their personal bottom line.

Driving performance in corporate development: Leading practices for changing roles and responsibilities

Corporate development’s growing responsibility for deals’ strategic fit and post-closing results requires stronger organizational processes, broader skill sets and new technologies.

Strategic ambiguity and change lead CFOs’ career concerns

Strategic ambiguity, major initiatives and changing regulatory requirements were top job stresses, for CFOs responding to Deloitte’s CFO Signals™ 2Q 2011 survey.

CFO transitions playbook, part 2: The 180-day agenda

A Deloitte study found that most CFOs work with a six-month marker, spending the first 90 days getting to know the business, followed by choosing where to focus their energies over the next three months.

CFO transitions playbook, part 1: How to make the most of the first 90 days

CFOs who successfully managed their transition spent the first 90 days: getting to know the business model, deciding what to do, narrowing their skills gap and making a difference.

Managing the transition triangle: Time, relationships and talent—lessons from CFOs for CFOs

Interviews of CFOs reveal three critical resources that new CFOs must manage successfully as they take the reins: time, relationships and talent.

Financial services, incentives and risk management

Financial institutions are making headway in tying compensation and performance incentives to risk management as a way to manage business and related risks, but more could be done.

Talent leaders in the post-crisis economy: What differentiates world-class talent companies

When many executives predict global talent shortages, a few companies are blazing a path that could give them an edge in winning the battle for talent.

Mid-market executives see expanded hiring and global reach in the year ahead

A majority of executives at middle-market companies plan to expand hiring this year, according to a Deloitte-commissioned survey of more than 500 senior decision makers of private and public companies.

Do you have a finance-talent strategy?

As finance’s responsibilities grow, so does the need for highly skilled talent. By understanding three pillars of success, CFOs can develop a talent strategy that supports their goals.

Details matter for portfolio company equity compensation plans

Equity-based compensation plans should address award substance, redemption features, exercisability, vesting and forfeiture to achieve favorable accounting and provide appropriate incentives.

Winning friends and influencing stakeholders

Our research on CFO transitions finds that managing time, talent and relationships is critical to success. Building relationships may be the most vital and vexing to executing priorities.

CFOs feel the stress

Strategic ambiguity, major change initiatives and changing regulatory requirements were cited as the top job stresses by finance executives responding to Deloitte’s 1Q 2011 CFO Signals™ survey.

Crossing the chasm: From operator to strategist

Many CFOs want to partner with the CEO as a strategist and catalyst, far different roles from serving as steward and operator. Making the transition is possible if CFOs prepare for the challenges.

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