Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 26, 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. Ready, set, go: Reinventing the organization for speed in the post-COVID-19 era
Organizations have removed boundaries and have broken down silos in ways no one thought was possible. They have streamlined decisions and processes, empowered frontline leaders, and suspended slow-moving hierarchies and bureaucracies. The results, CEOs from a wide range of industries have told us, have often been stunning...

2. Neuroscience Reveals How Steve Jobs Made Better Decisions, Faster
Chess grandmasters sometimes perform exhibitions where they simultaneously play -- and win -- multiple games of speed chess while blindfolded. Clearly they can memorize each board. Or not.

3. 3 strategic recovery priorities for management accountants
What will be management accountants’ priorities during the economic recovery? CIMA Council, the Institute’s governing body, recently held a Strategy Insights session that brought together views and experiences from across its 56 members to help direct our response. I would like to share with you the outputs from this session and three significant themes that emerged...

4. An operating model for the next normal: Lessons from agile organizations in the crisis
For many companies, the first, most visible effects of the COVID-19 pandemic quickly created a challenge to their operating and business models. Everything came into question, from how and where employees worked to how they engaged with customers to which products were most competitive and which could be quickly adapted. To cope, many turned to practices commonly associated with agile teams in the hope of adapting more quickly to changing business priorities.

5. Prepare for the U.S. and China to Decouple
While Covid-19 has dominated news for much of the year — and understandably so, as people and businesses fight for their survival — a larger, longer-lasting problem has been unfolding in the background, which many businesses will soon need to contend with: As de-globalization accelerates, two hostile economic blocs are emerging, one centered around China and the other around the United States.

6. Scorecard: Safeguarding Working Capital
In trying times, the old adage “cash is king” is never truer. For CFOs, ensuring their organizations’ working capital management strategies and processes are best-in-class is again a high priority. After all, tighter working capital performance means well-timed inflows and outflows of cash, essential for companies operating on a small cushion of safety.

7. The art of managing cost without a budget
The energy company Equinor (formerly Statoil) is Scandinavia's largest company, with operations in more than 30 countries and a yearly turnover of $64.4 billion. In 2005, we made radical changes to our management processes, with two purposes: to make them more aligned with our people-focused and values-based beliefs and to make them more adaptive and robust against a dynamic and unpredictable business environment.

8. Watch: Simon Sinek on How to Lead Through Crisis and Change
Check out the highlights from Inc.'s Real Talk: Business Reboot streaming event, in which the best-selling author shares strategies to lead your team into the new normal.

9. What Does the Future of Finance Analytics Look Like?
The digital transformation of finance has been underway for many years.  The ability to automate manual tasks and processes using digital technologies has helped finance shift its focus from back-office processing and reporting of historic results – to forward looking forecasting and analysis of the business.

10. Underlining the importance of diversity: a mission shaped by mindset
“What you put into life is what you get out of it.” At the age of 26, I qualified as a CIMA accountant. It was no easy journey as I had to work hard through the most difficult of circumstances. I found out that my dad only had weeks to live about a fortnight before […]