Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 25, 2017
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. Why M&A Strategy (And Your Retail Experience) Just Changed Fore...
Last Friday, Amazon sent another shock wave rippling through all retailers. The e-commerce giant announced the intention to purchase health foods grocer Whole Foods for $13.7 billion. Share prices for Wal-Mart, Kroger, and Costco all tumbled. The New York Times described Amazon as the "new breed of Silicon Valley conglomerates."
2. Elon Musk's No. 1 Rule for Staying Insanely Successful
Elon Musk is one of the most purposeful leaders on the planet. He understands that success doesn't happen overnight. At times, you might privately think you can't go on. You must persist. As the best leaders know, what you must commit to first is focus, energy, and discipline to finding your "why" -- your reason for being. In The Journal of Positive Psychology, researchers showed that leaders who imagined their "best possible self" for one minute and then immediately wrote down their thoughts generated a significant increase in positive outlook. The researchers concluded that knowing your purpose could indeed increase expectations for a positive future.
3. How to deliver a powerful financial presentation
Presenting essential data without confusing or overwhelming your audience can be tricky. A common mistake is to share everything you know. Instead, concentrate on the essential information or suggestions you want the audience to take in. In a new CGMA brief, Six Rules to Delivering a Powerful Financial Presentation, Peter Margaritis, CPA, CGMA, and Jennifer Elder, CPA/CFF, CGMA, provide the following advice on creating a session which connects with your audience and empowers them to act.
4. Why Cybersecurity Is Financially Undervalued
Like the way in which the Enron fraud scandal led to the development of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, recent cyber scandals (e.g., Target, Sony, Home Depot), which resulted in huge financial losses, may motivate the development of a new cybersecurity-focused corporate accountability movement and/or consumer protection laws. In short, it's time to provide financial benchmarks to cybersecurity. Securing corporate America is not a technology problem. Shareholders need to value cybersecurity and begin to punish poor performance in this area.
5. 5 Leadership Habits All Great Bosses Share
Truth talk: Being a manager is hard. You may not be 100% prepared for the demands of a job that requires handling individual personalities, motivations, and work styles. Doing the work becomes the simple part; working through others is far more complex. Which isn't to say it's all bad. Helping your employees grow, tackling projects as a team, and building strong relationships are all very rewarding. And, seasoned leaders will tell you that it gets easier the longer you do it, because you'll learn as you go. But there's a faster (and less stressful) way to put these lessons to work--and that's to learn from managers who've been there before.
6. Upgrading your business to a digital operating system
There are many facets to a digital transformation. One of the most important parts is getting the organization in shape for digitization. This excerpt, from Digital @ Scale, discusses something the authors call the digital operating system, a way to organize and run your company like a digital native.
7. How to Integrate Data and Analytics into Every Part of Your Organiz...
Many conversations about data and analytics (D&A) start by focusing on technology. Having the right tools is critically important, but too often executives overlook or underestimate the significance of the people and organizational components required to build a successful D&A function.
8. Untangling your organization's decision making
It's the best and worst of times for decision makers. Swelling stockpiles of data, advanced analytics, and intelligent algorithms are providing organizations with powerful new inputs and methods for making all manner of decisions. Corporate leaders also are much more aware today than they were 20 years ago of the cognitive biasesanchoring, loss aversion, confirmation bias, and many morethat undermine decision making without our knowing it. Some have already created formal processeschecklists, devil's advocates, competing analytic teams, and the liketo shake up the debate and create healthier decision-making dynamics.
9. Preventing fraud and saving costs with machine learning
Whilst most businesses don't earn revenue by processing data, they do spend a large amount of their hard earned revenue in manually processing data, validating it and ultimately performing manual tasks that don't scale. But at what point does this manual involvement become a burden of cost upon your business? And really how much manual involvement should be required?
10. Top tips for a successful M&A
Organisations enter into mergers with high expectations, but often the integration fails to deliver the economies of scale, cost savings, and increased shareholder value promised. Dr John Kotter, Professor of Leadership at Harvard Business School, found that 70% of transformation efforts, whether M&As or other leadership changes, do not deliver what has been promised. Whilst only a few are total failures, less than five% succeed in achieving what they set out to do.