As the old saying goes, “you need to work on your business, not in your business” and the same profundity applies to CFO, finance managers and their teams.

As CFOs and finance leaders, we have multiple challenges, multiple priorities, many conflicting, but one of the most important aspects to our long going success is to build a high performing team fit for our digitalised future, and the power of the “work on, not in” message comes from three places; having perspective, having proximity and having priorities.


If I am buried in my team, doing the day-to-day, not looking up from my work, am I able to get a wide view of what is happening within my team? When I talk to CFOs and finance teams, it is often the case that we are so busy with the work we do, we are at best navel gazing when reviewing our current and future skills and abilities, at worst not reviewing them at all.


And when it comes to the review, many CFOS and finance managers are not close enough to the digital trends, functional use cases and in-demand skills to make the review valuable, valid, visionary. So, we need to invest time to learn more about the art of the possible, what is happening out there in our profession, with our peers, to build the right team.

Read more about digital trends, here!


What is your business priority, your team’s priority, your priority? This will drive the work you do, and the resource you need to do it.  Many finance teams are still working on traditional aspects of finance and using limited data and low tech tools. Meanwhile, your business is asking for more information from more data, more agility, more planning and support.  

Want to learn more? ‘Accelerating digital agility in finance teams’

So, how do we break the cycle?

We need to take time out, and invest in our teams future, we need to learn what a new high performing team is in a digital finance function setting, and use perspective, proximity and priority to shape our visions.

Only that way, will we actually make a change and move towards a digital finance function and a true business partnership as business finance experts.