Want to know the #GENCFOsummit highlights?

"Sometimes I’m winning, sometimes I'm learning"

What do you call an explosion of ideas, expertise and connection over two days?  

Well, we call it the GENCFO Summit.  Now, I have good and bad news. As tradition dictates, bad news first: it’s over.

Time for the good news! You’ve found my highlights of the Summit best bits. I was part-time host, part-time community manager, so you know I’ve got the best view across the sessions. If you were there, you can relive it - and if you weren’t, you can ease your FOMO.

“Be more pirate!”

Sam Conniff joined us as our 2023 keynote speaker, sharing his insights on how to #bemorepirate. The chat was going wild throughout, Simone said: "love it - Pirates = Permission!", and Lance asked: "Who is the biggest pirate in our corporate world today?".

It really set the tone for provocative but invaluable sessions, which kicked off straight after…

“The Chief Future officer role is about changing perceptions of finance - but it has to start from the top."

Our most popular session of Day 1 was an all-female panel of CFOs on the role of the Chief Future Officer. We were joined by Billie O’Connor of Milk & More, Sylvia Ionita of waterdrop and Vineta Bajaj of Rohlik Group.

They told us that "to not change is to go backwards, or even to decline”, and:

“Have a mix of titles, finance people who are more business focussed, spending more time with their department team than finance sometimes - and that's okay!"

Speaking of finance business partnering, we had a session focussed on just that featuring Andi Lonnen of FBP Academy, Andrew Codd of SITN Show, Robin Kiziak of VF Corporation and Cécile Parker, of Vital Energi Utilities Limited.

Cécile made a great point that Finance Business Partners will succeed based on investment in them, and Robin reminded us that: "we're all human, operate in that way".

"You can get information overload."

There was a session that talked chocolate, lowering inflation, the Sainsbury's clubcard and more.

It was all about ‘grooving through complexity’ with Baron Anyangwe of Love Cocoa, Andrew Elsby-Smith of Amtico, James Owen of Kantar and Carl Thompson of Coupa.

 Eric in the chat left a great comment: "Continuous improvement is continuous restructuring, agility = change".

Another great takeaway came from a session I hosted, ‘Analytics Accelerator’ with Evri’s Finance Director Mark Laine-Toner:

"CEOs don't want lots of reporting - they want us to answer questions".

Audience member Olufunmilade called this session “apt and useful” in the Summit community group, and Sajid said in the chat that "it seems next gen CFO should have a tech stack such as AI and database skills on top of finance".

I hosted a similarly tech-y session on XP&A, with Nikolai Petrou of Secret Escapes, Anna Oblakova of Sodastream and FP&A experts Tanbir Jasimuddin and Olga Rudakova. There was a really interesting poll asking: “Is XP&A the future, or just FP&A done right?”. Get Anna’s thoughts on it all here.

"Sometimes I’m winning, sometimes I'm learning."

Day 2 started with the same amazing energy when Selina Butterfield-Mashoofi was interviewed for a live edition of The Shift, sharing her thoughts on her career, finding community and leadership.

Following that session, we heard from Cédric Assaouloff of Roche, Bernd Stangl of Alcatel-Lucent and Mike Rose of FLIP Digital when they shared some insights on how to overcome transformation blockers. 

During this session, the audience was asked: ‘do you think digital transformation training should be compulsory?’ Well, 82% did - check out FLIP if you want to explore training for you or your team.

“Burnout is caused by more than just long hours.”

Now, I want to share with you three of my favourite sessions from the summit. 

A really important session I watched on Day 2 was on mental agility, where the panel discussed politicians burning out, hybrid working and more - "9 to 5 is no longer the norm" is a particularly notable quote.

Did any of you catch the conversation between me, Michael Mills, Finance Director, Strategy & Sustainability, at Jaguar Land Rover and Malcolm Finn, Director of Finance, Johnson Matthey? We talked about ESG, from how it affects internal stakeholders to international regulation. 

That was definitely one of my key sessions, and another session I loved was from an all-female panel on diversity, where they emphasised that:

“Diverse opinions create better decisions.”

To finish off the summit on a high, we were lucky enough to have a Mastermind Live session, where Mike and Chris gave you a taste of what our Exec Members get every month. Were you involved?

How do you watch it?

Now you’ve been tantalised by my highlights, I’m sure you’ll want to watch it. Want a refresher on one of the sessions? Want to binge-watch the lot?

Pro Members of the GENCFO community platform will have access to all the recordings and slides from the 2023 GENCFO Summit, as well as the recordings from previous years.

Discover Pro Membership here, and start watching!

If you don't want to rewatch, but do want to keep your digital transformation journey going, discover our 6-week digital transformation course for finance leaders here.


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Olivia Wing, Customer Success Manager, GENCFO

Olivia is an author at GENCFO as well as being the Community Success Manager. Read her articles on everything from events, agility, hot topics in finance and interviews with key finance and accounting industry figures.

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