Along with technology and communications, the way we do business in the United States and across the world is constantly changing. Business leaders like Zachari Cargnino cannot simply rely on the principles they learned in business school, leading their organizations according to standard blueprints and expecting them to flourish and move ahead of their competition.
The evolution of new technologies, new communication possibilities, and new security threats make it imperative for a successful business leader to have an innovative approach. Here are some of the new ways that a financial leader, in particular, must be ready to adapt and grow their organization to thrive in a new age.
The larger the corporation, the more appealing it is as a target to hackers, organized crime, international actors, and other threats. In a typical large organization, the topic of security mainly falls under the domain of the chief information officer (CIO) or chief information security officer (CISO). However, the other members of the executive leadership team also have a responsibility to stay educated on how the evolving threat landscape affects their particular areas of governance. This is especially critical for the chief financial officer, whose responsibilities are destined to overlap with those of the CISO when it comes to hackers looking to disrupt the company’s finances or steal assets outright.
Seldom have business owners had to navigate a more confusing, complex, and unpredictable maze of state and federal regulations. The collapse of high-profile financial institutions, leading to a nationwide recession, prompted officials to tighten existing regulations and impose new ones. Today, a CFO has the responsibility to understand a huge body of regulatory policy, distill the implications for his organization specifically, and ensure that all of the company’s activities are in compliance. When you combine two different sets of regulations, originating with both the state and the federal governments, it is easy to see how a financial leader in today’s world could begin to feel overwhelmed.
Even as a financial leader like Zachari Cargnino works to master complex topics like security threats and government regulation, he must work with the other members of his leadership team to discover new ways for the organization to innovate and improve. Simply complying with the law and keeping information secure are not enough to make a company successful, of course—there must also be the development of new ideas with the power to push the company’s products or services beyond their competition and reach new customers. A financial leader with a deep understanding of his business’s offerings, competitors, and other challenges will be an incredibly valuable asset to the leadership team, providing input and ideas from a unique perspective.
One of the most important qualities that a financial leader in the modern business world can possess is that of versatility. It is in keeping with human nature to become complacent with the status quo, but this natural approach quickly leads to stagnation for an organization, as more innovative competitors develop solutions that more effectively meet the demands of modern consumers.