Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 15, 2020


Want to stay up to date with the latest developments in finance, but short on time? Don't worry. CFO South Africa weekly collects 10 of the most important articles from international media for your convenience.

1. Addressing climate change in a post-pandemic world
Amid this crisis, it is easy to forget that just a few short months ago, the debate about climate change, the socioeconomic impacts it gives rise to, and the collective response it calls for were gaining momentum. Sustainability, indeed, was rising on the agenda of many public- and private-sector leaders—before the unsustainable, suddenly, became impossible to avoid.

2. What’s Next Now That AI Has Gone Mainstream?
Even before COVID-19 thrust AI into the spotlight, the technology was gaining widespread adoption in the most surprising places.

3. How to Manage Your Stress When the Sky Is Falling
It’s natural to feel stressed right now. As we try to navigate our new normal, we’re worried about getting sick or losing our jobs, we’re inundated with news about death tolls and an economic recession, and we’re isolated from coworkers, friends, and family.

4. The Role of the Board in Times of Distress
The COVID-19 pandemic is wreaking havoc on humanity at an unprecedented scale. Draconian measures governments are imposing in an attempt to “flatten the curve” have triggered a swift and massive economic crisis. Businesses must constantly adapt to the fast-evolving situation and plan accordingly. Most of the crisis management will be carried out by executives, but since many decisions concern the very survival of companies, the board as a whole has to be involved in deliberations rapidly and intensively if non-executives are to have any meaningful role.

5. Preparing Your Business for a Post-Pandemic World
The management theorist Henry Mintzberg famously defined strategy as 5 Ps: plan, ploy, pattern, position, and perspective. We have adapted his framework to propose our own 5 Ps: position, plan, perspective, projects, and preparedness. The following questions can guide you as you work to bounce back from the crisis.

6. Six Actions to Take in the Next 90 Days to Save Your Business
No one can provide all the answers during the coronavirus pandemic, but there are things you can do to help.

7. Seven Questions for Corporate Boards Navigating COVID-19
Corporate boards across Europe are reacting to the coronavirus pandemic in three ways. For some, it’s business as usual. “Crisis is the business of the CEO; the board does not need to adjust its workings,” the chair of one such board told me. Other boards are going in the opposite direction: becoming very engaged, involving themselves in operations and even making key executive decisions. In the words of the leader of such a board: “When the crisis of this scale strikes – we all become executives.”

8. How True Leaders Communicate in a Crisis
Before reaching out to others, leaders must first understand themselves. Managers need to remember their training and check in with themselves about how they are doing before launching into action.

9. Scenario planning and the COVID-19 crisis
In times of uncertainty, scenario analysis and planning are critical tools. COVID-19 presents an extraordinary level of uncertainty. Management accountants are often tasked with estimating the impact on our organisations and taking action in response to the pandemic.

10. Making tough choices in the coronavirus crisis
Professional judgement, the combination of relevant experience and knowledge to take decisions and form opinions, is crucial to make the tough choices. Here are the six elements of professional judgement applied to the coronavirus pandemic.

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