Let’s be clear about the role of an executive – this is an individual that thinks strategically about where the company needs to go, and then oversees the implementation of the strategic and tactical initiatives to arrive at the desired destination. An executive is not someone who understands just one part of the business, although they may have management or leadership responsibility over one department in the company.
For a practical example of an effective executive, consider a CFO who oversees the finance and accounting department of the firm, but always considers the overall objectives of the entire company in all strategic and tactical activities. In contrast, consider someone in a similar role that only understands finance and accounting and their only motivating factor is improving accounting and finance with no consideration for the overall objectives of the firm.
Many studies have proven that a team of executives is usually the most effective in leading a growing enterprise. Typically, a company will have a CEO to lead the firm and then a different executive over each area major area of the firm. Most simplistically, these areas of the firm can be broken into three categories: sales & marketing, operations, and finance/accounting/admin/legal/HR. Here is a simple diagram of how this works:
Many companies cannot afford to hire executive-level talent in all of these areas. The executive role of CFO is often the most over-looked because growing companies are so consumed with marketing, selling, and delivering on the promises they made to customers. Our experience has found that the CFO perspective in a business is often the most critical when companies tend to over-look it – during high growth and slowing cash flow period of the business.
Our solution is to provide a CFO with extensive executive experience to every business in an affordable and high-impact manner. As the CFO for our clients, we are part of the executive team of the firm and focus on strategies and tactics that improve the overall cash flow and profitability of the firm.