For Longstanding CFOs – Getting Fresh Eyes to Remain Relevant & Cutting Edge

“Everyone likes to joke around about the traditional CFO who sits in their office with their green shade, a pocket protector that says no to everything,” she said. “But it is such a different position today. … It’s a position that requires strategic thinking, creative decision-making and the ability to look past just debits and credits.” – JoAnn Kunkel, CFO of Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health

JoAnn’s comment got me to think about the lofty task that chief officers and business owners have to remain innovative and meet the expectations to grow the success of their business for all their stakeholders. You don’t want to get caught up in comfort, as when businesses seek change, they are looking to replace their current leadership with members who have fresh ideas.

But how do you get fresh ideas when you have been a CFO of a business for years?

Sometimes, we can find them at conferences, as we meet with our peers and discuss obstacles and successes. Yet, sometimes, we walk away with no new ideas – maybe the ideas would not work within our business or maybe you have already implemented similar concepts.

Another option for getting fresh ideas is getting fresh eyes, without having to replace a trusted subordinate or peer. Silverback provides the expertise of a familiarity of multiple markets and knowing what other businesses are paying for the same products and services you are purchasing and using. Which means we have the 1,000 view that you would only have if you changed your position and field every year. And if we can’t find you savings, there is no cost for the service.

Bottom line, at the end of our relationship, you either get praise for finding money or you get approval that you have negotiated the best prices for your business. If you have that approval, I would then say you have remained relevant and proven your value at your business.

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