Finance flash: the TOP-10 articles of week 6, 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. One is the loneliest number
Put an end to the costly workplace isolation experienced by many women by clustering them on teams and improving the promotion process.

2. Finance Function 2019: Fewer Functionaries, More Strategists
Heading into the new year, technology is starting to wipe out lower-level number crunchers in favor of mid-level team members focused on strategy. If one wished to forecast how the corporate finance function will evolve in 2019, what might that look like? Here is our view.

3. 3 simple habits that can protect your brain from cognitive decline
Neuroplasticity the function that allows the brain to change and develop in our lifetime has three mechanisms: synaptic connection, myelination, and neurogenesis. The key to resilient aging is improving neurogenesis, the birth of new neurons. 

4. The Holy Grail: Aligning HR and Finance in Your Planning Process
The key to fixing the relationship is to clarify the priorities on both sides and understand how both teams can provide the information the other needs to perform their job function at the highest level.

5. 5 Signs Your Employees Aren't Taking Their Jobs Seriously Enough
Many people have excuses for keeping poor performers or disengaged employees on their team. But when you hang on to them, you risk negatively impacting productivity and morale across not only the team, but the company, too. Here are some common characteristics among those who just show up for a paycheck...

6. Why Risk Management Should Be a Higher Priority
Companies today are exposed to an ever-more-complex array of risks and uncertainties, which are only set to accelerate in the years to come. Whether driven by geopolitical events, volatile financial markets, technology developments, cybersecurity threats, data privacy concerns, or climate change, coping with accelerating change is no longer an advantage, but a necessity.

7. Risk: ‘A unique opportunity on the table’
Accountants have an opportunity to enable more effective enterprise risk management (ERM) within their businesses, according to a recent International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) report. Enabling the Accountant’s Role in Effective Enterprise Risk Management, published by IFAC’s Professional Accountants in Business Committee (PAIB), emphasises that accountants need to be “focused on the benefits of intelligent risk-taking in addition to the need to mitigate and control risk”.

8. 8 Things to Do Before You Run a Business Experiment
Business experiments, especially in digital formats like A/B testing, have exploded in the last decade. And for good reason. Experimentation promises the power of the scientific method to reduce uncertainty: Should we launch this product? Which messaging maximises consumer engagement? Will this tool yield sufficient ROI when rolled out to all employees? However, that promise comes at a price that few business leaders are prepared to pay. And as experiment evangelists, we’re partly to blame. In our enthusiasm, we don’t spend nearly enough time spelling out the organisational investments necessary to harness the full potential of this tool.

9. Neuroscience Is Going to Change How Businesses Understand Their Customers
A Fortune 100 automotive company is exploring a new technology on the periphery of their core business. The executives in charge believe they have struck on a possible breakthrough, but as they push the project into uncertain terrain, their traditional signposts for decision-making are no longer relevant in this new context. They need a new method for coming to strategic decisions within this unfamiliar and turbulent environment, but how? Neuroscience, it turns out, can help change how companies think about new opportunities, and specifically, within the emerging field of applied neuroscience.

10. Ten trends shaping the Internet of Things business landscape
In the past, IoT has often been viewed as mostly a technology challenge, and we’ve found that a company’s CIO is most frequently the leader of its IoT efforts. But we see time and again that maximising the economic impact of an IoT effort requires a broad set of changes to business practices as well.