Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 20, 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. Uber's CEO Sent an Extraordinary Email to Employees After the Company's Stock Plunged
Uber's CEO taught a master class in emotionally intelligent leadership--in a few, short paragraphs.

2. The journey to an agile organization
Agility is catching fire, and there is growing recognition of its transformational benefits. But moving to an agile operating model is tough, especially for established companies. There are several paths to agility and many different starting points, yet successful agile transformations all share the common elements described in this paper.

3. 3 Ways Executives Can Manage Challenging Moments in Their Careers
An inflection point is often thought of as the biggest disruption an industry can face. One might occur, for example, when incumbents get rattled by competitors exploiting new technologies. Andy Grove first introduced the term to business strategy as “an event that changes the way we think and act.” But these intensely challenging moments not only happen in companies and industries, they happen in careers, as well.

4. 4 Skills Every Tax Professional Needs in Order to Thrive
The tax profession is notoriously complex and constantly changing. Here are the skills needed to navigate the evolving landscape.

5. New Lease Standard: Comparing IFRS and U.S. GAAP
Financial statement users have long been aware of the hidden leverage that arises from lease obligations, especially in the retail industry. As companies file their first financial results for 2019, financial statement preparers and users alike will finally find these leases brought to light, thanks to the new lease accounting standards issued by FASB and IASB.

6. What will IFRS 16 mean for 2019’s reporting season?
In early 2016, the International Accounting Standards Board released the new lease accounting standard, IFRS 16, in an effort to increase transparency around the state of a corporation’s lease liabilities. Since then, CFOs and treasurers have invested a considerable amount of time and resources into becoming compliant when this new standard was implemented. 

7. Where measuring engagement goes wrong
Surveys to assess how engaged workers are in their jobs are highly popular among employers, who hope the results will help them improve employee productivity and creativity and reduce turnover. But consultants and academics have long differed in their conclusions about how much can be inferred from the results of these surveys. Based on our own work as academics, we caution business leaders implementing such surveys: They may not tell you much about your employees that you can do anything about.

8. What (Not) to Do in the Crosshairs of Digital Disruption
The downfall of iconic Swiss travel agency Kuoni exemplifies the grave options available to companies with pre-internet business models. In 2006, top leadership at Kuoni – the Swiss tour operator – understood they were facing an existential crisis. Their long-successful business model was mainly built around a now endangered transaction: Booking holiday packages face-to-face at a travel agency. The digital revolution had begun, and managers at Kuoni could read the writing on the wall.

9. How to give an elevator story that people actually listen to
You could be anywhere when you bump into someone who is important to your career. It might be your boss’s boss, your CEO, or your key customer. How do you take advantage of this interaction? After all, you probably don’t have very long to seize the opportunity–maybe 45 seconds at most.

10. Boosting the strategic value of your data
The advent of big data over the past two decades, along with the broader data revolution, has, in theory, made it easier than ever for corporate finance chiefs to support their financial and business strategies and decision-making processes with a comprehensive evidence base. A recent report by US-based analytics software developer SAS observed that “data is no longer a by-product of business processing — it’s a critical asset that enables processing and decision-making.”