Bring on the Year of the CFO

A consultant colleague sent a group of us a provocative article from the Economist – titled “The Year of the CFO” which proclaimed that EQ, Talent Management and Corporate Social Responsibility are “dead” in 2009 and financial management, economic value add and execution will be business priorities.

My response to this provocation is as follows:

“This is a very Anglo / US response to difficult times, it will not necessarily be the same in European / Rhineland / Asian organisations, who are in business for the long term, who truly understand that people power drives organisations and who have some protection from the vagaries of the stock markets.  So the extent to which our clients are the latter vs the former will largely affect how expendable our services are perceived to be.

I do agree that execution and measurable value add will be more important and I think it is a good challenge – to keep refining the measurable benefit of training, coaching and mentoring – by generating more tools that show the real impact on the bottom line over time.  I also think that it can be useful for sustainability to be a bit more pointy ($ focused) for a while – necessity can generate new ideas for efficiencies.

In many ways this article is about getting back to the basics of good, sustainable business, but as I’ve spent a year researching – what is good, what is sustainable, what is the timeframe and what is measurable, mean different things to different people.

If this is what is required  – we at A Passion for Results are ready – so bring on 2009.

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