Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 11, 2019

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. Enabling finance as a business partner
Integrated business planning (IBP) builds organisation-wide capability in agile cross-functional planning and is a powerful enabler of the finance business partner approach. This approach has become more widespread as businesses have evolved to address the increasing volatility and complexity of the market environment.

2. Hitachi Europe CFO on driving change management
Guillaume de Pommereau, the finance head of the Japanese group’s European businesses, explains how a transformation to a lean finance function has paid off.

3. What makes an organization ‘healthy’? (podcast)
In this episode of the McKinsey Podcast, Simon London speaks with McKinsey partners Rajesh Krishnan and Brooke Weddle about the ins and outs of organisational health.

4. For Management Accountants, Gender Pay Gap Is Closing
Within the ranks of management accountants, the gap between the compensation of women and men is narrowing. In the United States, median total pay for women in 2018 was 88 percent of what men earned, according to the latest annual compensation survey by the Institute of Management Accountants.

5. Five Lessons from a VC with a Long-Term Focus
When I entered the venture capital industry, I admired the work of “father of venture capital” George Doriot – taking risks on revolutionary ideas and seeing them pay off. But I was a little mystified by the venture capitalists (VCs) of the current era. Based on the public versions of their success stories, I thought they were extremely lucky or they had a special gift of predicting the future or a combination of both. I also found them very intimidating, unapproachable and unrelatable. I didn’t want to do business the way they did.

6. An Exercise to Help Your Team Feel More Comfortable with Conflict
Have you noticed your organisation becoming so focused on building a happy, engaged workforce that your leaders are becoming profoundly conflict-avoidant? I see examples of this all the time. One clue that your team is avoiding conflict is if the least bit of discomfort in a meeting causes someone to suggest that you “take it offline.” This, of course, triggers the meeting-after-the-meeting phenomenon another hallmark of a conflict-avoidant culture.

7. The Simple Secret Behind Why Acquisitions Fail
Acquisitions are a zero-sum game: both buyer and seller need to feel they are getting a good deal. Unfortunately, buyers usually pay too much.

8. The AI Roles Some Companies Forget to Fill
AI is almost everywhere in the news today, and the drive to create and implement AI solutions is creating an enormous talent gap.  An estimated 80 percent of companies are already investing in AI and most are facing challenges hiring the capabilities they need to implement a useful AI application or product. It’s clear that there is an intensively competitive market for artificial intelligence and machine learning specialists. Many companies first attempt to hire Ph.D.-level data scientists with expertise in AI algorithms and “feature engineering.” Some analysts have even equated “AI talent” with such researchers.

9. The platform play: How to operate like a tech company
The question is not how fast tech companies will become car companies, but how fast we will become a tech company. This is how the board member of a global car company recently articulated the central issue facing most incumbents today: how to operate and innovate like a tech company.

10. Why Tesla's New Model Y SUV Could Be a 'Game Changer'
Tesla’s new crossover SUV could be just the spark the company needs to get to the next level, according to one analyst. In a note to investors on Friday, Wedbush analyst Dan Ives called the new Model Y a “potential game changer.” He noted that the SUV market offers significant growth opportunities for Tesla and the vehicle’s starting price of $39,000 for the base model makes it nicely affordable in the crowded SUV market. “These price points were music to the ears of Tesla bulls,” Ives said.