After years of focusing on cost reduction, CFOs are bullish on growth. Yet growth strategies are being pursued at unprecedented scale and speed for today’s generation of CFOs. Can they move into the uncharted territory of rapid value creation?
With investors watching and disruptors looming, they must. The reality is that every CFO must be ready to make rapid-fire decisions and execute at scale. The potential for game-changing opportunities and terrible failures is real—and the line between them is razor thin.
In the growth environment, CFOs face new opportunities and challenges:
Striking the right balance. The pivot to growth does not mean CFOs can forget cost management. They must recalibrate the balance between reducing costs and investing in organic and inorganic growth to respond to a market climate that has evolved significantly since 2008.
Flipping the switch. CFOs are turning to restructuring, divestiture and M&A to keep pace with accelerated growth expectations. They want to jumpstart innovation at scale with at-the-ready products, technologies, talent and markets.
Flying blind. As the pressure to act builds, the risk of failure increases. Yet many CFOs lack the data, tools and experience to evaluate and act on opportunities with haste.
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CFOs can make several bold moves to evaluate growth opportunities in a whole new light:
Stop with yesterday’s assumptions. CFOs need the strategic mindset, data, tools, predictive analytics and judgment to understand growth opportunities across multiple dimensions.
Ask “what if” questions. CFOs should increase simulation scenario planning—defining the criteria and associated metrics to measure against growth strategy execution and evaluate overall returns.
Transform the operating model fearlessly. There is no one-size-fits all operating model to support growth strategies. The operating model must be flexible enough to adapt to growth strategies.