September 2018: What We’re Reading

By The Center Team on September 24, 2018

News and insights to keep you up to date and on track—the rise of the machines, capital allocation strategies, a novel interviewing method, and more.

We’re here to help you make your business spending more strategic, intelligent, and connected. Stay up to date and on track with recent insights from business strategy experts and fintech thought leaders.

Are Your Capital Allocations Strategic?
Frank R. Hopson for CFO | @CFO

For many companies, the capital allocation process is unhelpfully disconnected from strategy. But having a defined marker for value, choosing where to compete, and cultivating an ownership mindset can give your team what it needs to stay ahead of the competition.

“Your company’s strategy isn’t static, so your capital allocations shouldn’t be either.”

How Gusto Built Scaling Hiring Practices Rooted in Tradition
First Round Review | @FRCReview

How can you hire more rapidly without losing the essence of your company along the way? Josh Reeves believes that “The Watermelon Interview” is a crucial first step. Find out how the Gusto CEO developed innovative hiring practices that helped grow the company while staying true to its roots.

“Traditions slowly become a part of your company’s DNA and self-reinforce over the years to become culture. And they need to be authentic. There is no formula for what the ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ traditions are. They’re different for each founding team.”

Zero-Based Budgeting Revisited: Why This Time is Different
Kyle Hawke and Jan Perkins McKinsey & Company | @McKinsey

McKinsey partner Kyle Hawke and senior McKinsey external adviser Jan Perkins speak to Simon London about why zero-based budgeting (ZBB)—an idea that’s nearly 50 years old—is having a bit of a renaissance in companies looking to reset their resource-allocation methods.

“We studied the resource reallocation of 1,500 companies over a 20-year period, and what we found is that 90 percent of the dollars stay where they were the year before. So only 10 percent was actually reallocated across business units, geographies, or brands.”

Predictable Pitfalls of Founders and How To Avoid Them
Alisa Cohn for Openview | @AlisaCohn

Executive coach Alisa Cohn lays out the five most common traps that startups walk into, and provides four core principles to navigate growth successfully.

“People will stay long-term, be committed and be motivated through deeper cultural attributes, such as clear vision that is communicated and allows people to see how they fit in.”

The Robots are Coming to Corporate Finance
Patrick Taylor for Forbes | @Forbes

Artificial Intelligence is no longer science fiction. Thanks to increased computing power and improved machine learning algorithms, AI is becoming a reality for corporate finance teams. We’ve moved beyond the risk of adopting AI to the point where the bigger risk is not adopting it—because your competitors already have or soon will.

“Corporate finance teams spend about 80% of their time manually gathering, verifying and consolidating data, leaving only about 20% for higher-level tasks like analysis and decision making.”

Does Data Science and Business Analytics Really Transform Enterprises?
Emmanuel Jibodu for FP&A Trends

In the first of a three-part series, Stericycle FP&A Manager Emmanuel Jibodu takes a long look at the business value that data science and analytics can provide to enterprises.

“In today’s uncertain macroeconomic, geopolitical, legal, and competitive landscape, where 100-year old business models have become defunct, data represents a veritable goldmine to enterprises in their quest to grow revenues and manage their costs.”