Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 23


Do you want to keep up to date with the latest developments in finance, but you are short of time? Don’t worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

1. The internet is still at the beginning of its beginning
Can you imagine how awesome it would have been to be an ambitious entrepreneur back in 1985 at the dawn of the internet? At that time almost any dot-com name you desired was available. All you had to do was simply ask for the one you wanted. One-word domains, common names—they were all available. But, but . . . here is the thing. In terms of the internet, nothing has happened yet! The internet is still at the beginning of its beginning. It is only becoming.

2. What Every Introvert Must Know About Leadership
Today's answer to the question: When it comes to leadership, is it better to be an introvert or extrovert? is written by Mary Godwin, vice president of operations at Qumulo. On any given day, being a leader requires the ability to be adaptable. Leaders do not have the luxury to retreat to their introverted or extroverted comfort zones, but must instead be "ambiverts" and have a flexible attitude depending on the situation.

3. 3 Ways to Stay Calm When Conversations Get Intense
It's not easy to stay cool and engaged when things get heated in meetings, negotiations, or difficult conversations. We've all been there. You might say something that you later regret, or get stuck on one point trying to prove that you're right, ultimately losing sight of the bigger picture. Maybe you've damaged trust in a broader relationship with a colleague, client, vendor, or perhaps your spouse or kids. At times like this, you might wish you could hit that reset button and have a do-over. With so much at stake, how do you keep a heated conversation constructive?

4. Are Your Customers Being Served?
Excellence in post-sales service can be a boon to a company's attempts to bolster the bottom line and support business growth. These are key findings of a recent CFO Research survey of 126 senior finance executives at U.S. firms with revenues greater than $100 million, sponsored by OnProcess Technology.

5. 5 Strategy Lessons Companies Can Learn From China
We have a new, perhaps shocking, idea. While China has been learning management practices from the West for the last 30 years, Western companies operating in the country can now learn from China how to improve their activities in the rest of the world. Why do we say this? Because of (1) the unique characteristics of China's markets and customers; (2) the fierce competition from local Chinese companies; (3) the fact that confronting Chinese companies on their home turf is the best way to gain the capabilities, and indeed the cash, to confront them in your home market.

6. Visualizations That Really Work
Not long ago, the ability to create smart data visualizations, or dataviz, was a nice-to-have skill. For the most part, it benefited design- and data-minded managers who made a deliberate decision to invest in acquiring it. That's changed. Now visual communication is a must-have skill for all managers, because more and more often, it's the only way to make sense of the work they do.

7. 7 Ways to Identify and Evolve With Industry Trends
Like it or not, your industry is changing. Everything changes; it always has, and it always will. You can keep up with and be part of the changes, or you can overlook and ignore changes and let others pass you by. I don't know about you, but I prefer to keep up with what's trending in my industry. It's not always easy, especially in a field like marketing, but I've managed to recognize and change with what's shifting in my field. To help you do the same, here are seven ways you can identify and evolve with trends in your industry.

8. Black swans and barrels: How to think about the future of oil prices
With the intensity of ancient seers examining runes, policy makers, analysts, and economists watch every squiggle of movement in the oil markets, scrutinizing rig counts and poring over the footnotes in annual reports to glean portents of the future. With crude oil now hanging in there around $50 a barrel—a significant jump from January and February, when it lingered below $30—there is a sense that the price of crude is recovering.

9. Surprisingly Simple Ways You Can Trick Your Brain Into Focusing
What separates strategic, visionary thinkers from the rest of us? And why do we tend to worry about our ability to remember names—or where our keys are—rather than loss of cognitive memory that makes great performers? These were questions that puzzled Sandra Bond Chapman, founder and chief director of the Center for Brain Health at the University of Texas—Dallas. She wondered if high-level cognitive function could be taught or improved and set about figuring out how to do so...

10. Three of the world's ten largest employers are now replacing their ...
There is no need to worry about whether robots might start taking our jobs. It's already happening. Three of the world's 10 largest employers are already replacing tens of thousands of their workers with robots.

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