2023 CFO summit hears how best to create fit-for-future, winning teams

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Matimba Mbungela says teams of the future are made of leaders grounded to the present.

Keynote speaker at the 2023 CFO South Africa High-Performance Team Revolution Summit, CHRO of Vodacom Group Matimba Mbungela started off the evening by challenging financial leaders in the audience to self-reflect when thinking about building winning finance teams in their organisations.

Matimba said the way of work is fundamentally changing, and in so doing, changing the skills portfolio of organisations as well as the definition of success for the teams that CFOs lead. "

It is important that as leaders we reflect on how we create and co-create a future environment that takes care of core good values that we need.”

He added that it is also up to the leaders to equip their teams accordingly. As leaders, he said, it is their responsibility to also provide necessary inspiration for teams and make sure that they (employees) can focus on the future work demands.

“CFOs need to adapt to new financial capabilities that are needed. They have to learn to explore these changes in order to reframe the traditional finance jobs, but simultaneously make sure that great controls remain in place,” he noted.

Key factors for a winning team
Creating a winning team, says Matimba, also has three other key elements: tenure for growth, being able to withstand digital disruption and upholding integrity and ethos.

Speaking on tenure for growth, he said the skills framework for people in finance departments has changed, and asked the audience to think back to a time when they were entering the industry. He said recent studies had indicated that 11 percent of the top 1,000 finance skills demanded over the last year were new entrants, compared to three years back.

“The whole skills framework has changed in terms of the finance community. It’s quite clear that technology is creating disruption in our world and as leaders we have to think of how we make sure that we refresh our organisations in such a way that the capabilities that we have are fit for the future and fit for growth.”

Adapting to digital disruption is another factor that leaders have to consider when building a winning team. “It's quite clear that technology is creating disruption in our world and as leaders we have to think of how we make sure that we refresh our organisations in such a way that the capabilities that you have are fit for the future and fit for growth.”

Matimba also encouraged the attendees to co-partner with the CEO and other senior executives to formulate a winning strategy that will in turn create a future-ready team. It is important, he said, that the strategy is brought to life on a day-to-day basis. “When you really think about the changing workforce, it’s not only about the patterns and the habits of how you work, but it’s really about how people begin to think about the relevance of their work.”

Finally, Matimba touched on the importance of upholding the fiduciary duties that are aligned with financial teams. He referred to the rising number of CFOs that find themselves on the wrong side of the law, citing that the community should learn lessons from these scandals. “Integrity is in the bloodline of this community. CFOs still need to uphold their fiduciary duties to the organisation despite the factors influencing the future of finance.”

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