August 2019: What We’re Reading
News and insights to keep you up to date and on track—the balancing act for FP&A, creating clear data-rich presentations, and planning like a futurist.
First Round Review | @firstround
To successfully navigate periods of growth, a startup needs to recognize where it is in its evolution and maintain a flexible, experimental approach.
“There’s no one-size-fits-all advice: Your growth strategy should fit where you are in the moment. At each stage, you should be focused on different targets, according to your customers, your resources and the data you’ve collected.”
Kedar Kale for FP&A Trends
How do you respond to changing conditions while keeping sight of larger goals? Your FP&A team can play a key role in connecting short-term decisions to long-term outcomes.
“As a strategic business partner, an FP&A professional should play the role of a conscience keeper and raise a contrarian voice in ensuring the direction of a company stays on track towards the strategic objectives.”
It’s tempting to pack presentation slides with dense data, but your audience won’t have time to fully process it. Illustrate your data points in clear, simple ways to focus attention on your message.
“Data slides aren’t really about the data. They’re about the meaning of the data. And it’s up to you to make that meaning clear before you click away.”
Amy Webb for Harvard Business Review | @HarvardBiz
Traditional long-term planning—especially planning that follows a linear timeline—can limit a company’s ability to adapt to unexpected challenges. This quantitative futurist advocates a new methodology for strategic planning.
“It might go against your biological wiring, but give yourself and your team the opportunity to think about the short- and long-term simultaneously…You will undoubtedly find that your organization becomes more resilient in the wake of ongoing disruption.”
Brad J. Monterio for Strategic Finance | @SFMagazineIMA
As AI and data analytics continue to evolve, management accountants must consider the risk of bias.
“The fact that humans are both creators and users of data means there is an opportunity for bias to creep into the data life-cycle.”
Cath Everett for Raconteur | @raconteur
Many factors determine an early-stage startup’s success, but one stands out: a growth leader. What traits do growth leaders share?
“Creating an environment of ownership and encouraging a teamwork approach are the only way to get high growth, so it’s about an inclusive form of leadership. This means role modelling to show people they don’t need to be afraid of getting things wrong, allowing others to take the lead, and ensuring everyone has a voice.”
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