Three experts whose insights had an impact


These three business leaders had the best-read Expert Insights on CFO South Africa in 2018.

Knowledge shared: 10 lessons that drive career success  MTN group executive Herman Singh

Herman reflects on the professional and personal lessons he’s learnt in 38 years of work. Reflection is a key part of leadership and the extraction of insight guides future actions fundamentally. Here are his 10 key learnings: 

1. Your degree is not your career.
2. Your current employer is unlikely to be where you retire.
3. You are only as good as results delivered, networks built and new skills learned.
4. Being busy is not a measure of productivity.
5. Meetings are generally an amazing waste of time.
6. Managing perceptions is as important as delivering reality. 
7. If you are not saving at least 20 percent of income a year you are heading for a serious train smash.
8. Your personal brand is an incredibly important asset.
9. Hierarchies, job descriptions and titles are meaningless.
10. Three years is enough for any job.

And a bonus one: 

11. If you are not giving back then you are just taking.

Read more: Knowledge shared: 10 lessons that drive career success 

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Here’s what makes a great CFO: retiring CFO Awards judge Carel Smit explains

“It has been fascinating for me to see how the role of finance has changed during my 34 years at KPMG,” says Carel Smit, a CFO Awards judge since 2015, who earned his formidable stripes mostly in the mining sector. Today, successful CFOs need to:

  1. be involved in setting business strategy;
  2. ensure the finance function aligns 100 percent with the strategy and vision;
  3. know the risks threatening the business; and
  4. have good communications skills to align people behind strategy.”

Read more: Here's what makes a great CFO

Assurance in turmoil: four positive outcomes from the Steinhoff scandal

The Steinhoff scandal is costing jobs and harming people’s investments. It has also put more pressure on an already embattled assurance industry. But there are positive outcomes, says Dr Tim London, a senior lecturer at UCT’s Graduate School of Business

  1. The biggest and simplest takeaway from the Steinhoff scandal is that we are catching these organisations when they slip up.
  2. The Steinhoff scandal will be another point of pressure on these firms to increase their attention to sound, ethical practices from top to bottom in their organisations. 
  3. This scandal and others like it that implicates major firms may lead to a democratisation of the field.
  4. The Steinhoff scandal might now be the case we use in South Africa for discussing failures – and potential failures – in the private sector. 

Read more: The Steinhoff scandal positive outcomes

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