Questions & Answers: CFO Leading in times of uncertainty

These are uncertain and unprecedented times in which we have been living and, despite a timid return to normality, it is more than ever necessary to look at companies and think about their recovery and growth.

The pandemic of the new coronavirus created enormous constraints for companies - even so, it forced a rapid adoption of technological solutions and led leaders and employees to face the inevitable digitalization processes head on. In this context of recovery and recovery, much of the pressure is placed on the shoulders of Chief Financial Officers, CFOs - what challenges will they encounter in companies and how can they lead in the digital age and take advantage of technologies that can prove to be authentic game-changers?

The pandemic has forced many companies to rapidly digitize - despite the obvious concerns associated with privacy and data protection, is it possible to identify benefits in this process? Which are?

RH – Sim, sem dúvida, é possível tirar benefícios desta experiência que estamos todos a passar. Em primeiro lugar, todos percebemos que os processo que as organizações têm, e estamos a falar da área financeira e fiscal, não podem ser manuais hoje em dia. Percebeu-se claramente que as organizações que têm processos manuais ficaram claramente limitadas, e com isto tinham que começar obviamente um caminho de digitalização, de transformação digital. Tinham que ganhar a capacidade de poder controlar os processos remotamente porque tiveram que ter pessoas a trabalhar nessa circunstância, e com isto muitos CFOs perceberam que o tema da transformação digital, nos processos fiscais e financeiros, tinha que passar muitos graus para cima na agenda de prioridades definida antes da Covid-19.

Este é um tema obviamente muito desafiante mas que  que irá trazer imensos benefícios para as organizações. Acho que vamos perceber ao longo desta conversa que esta digitalização, se quisermos usar este nome de uma forma simplificada, tem imensos benefícios. Tem obviamente imensos desafios associados, mas eu acho que no fim do dia o balanço vai ser claramente positivo. A EY fez um survey muito recentemente com CFOs de 35 países, e a conclusão foi esta: em 24 meses a área financeira e fiscal vai ter que se transformar. A tecnologia vai ter um papel fundamental, tudo o que são processos repetitivos, tudo o que são processo de compliance, vão ter que ser digitalizados. O foco do CFO terá de ter as funções de valor acrescentado e a gestão de risco dentro da organização. Por isso, por aqui se começam a vislumbrar os benefícios que a pandemia nos traz. Não é só uma coisa má, vai nos trazer coisas boas também.

Companies face the need to invest in technology, but will all companies have different priorities? Where to start?

DO – É uma excelente pergunta porque as empresas estão num estado diferente a nível de maturidade tecnológica. Por isso antes de decidir investir, o primeiro passo que têm de dar é olhar para o ecossistema que elas têm e dentro do seu ecossistema quais são os sistemas que suportam as suas atividades core. Quais são os sistemas que suportam tudo aquilo que são sistemas de suporte. Porquê? Porque através desta análise, eles conseguem perceber para onde é que têm de caminhar. Há muitos anos investia-se em tecnologia, não digo que de uma forma cega, mas de uma forma menos bem pensada e isso hoje não pode ser feito. E não pode ser feito porque existe uma grande racionalização daquilo que são os investimentos e portanto a tecnologia tem que seguir aquilo que é o negócio. Depois de fazer esta análise e perceber qual é o ecossistema, temos que perceber qual é a ambição do negócio, qual é o planeamento estratégico para o negócio, para depois alinhar aquilo que é a evolução da tecnologia, em função desta ambição, do planeamento estratégico, da estratégia da organização. Isto pode levar a decisões como substituir algumas das plataformas tecnológicas que têm. Mas também em muitas situações existem plataformas não core de suporte que podem dar origem a decisões como “aquela área pode ir para outsourcing, porque não é core” e o custo beneficio de a manter dentro da organização poderá não fazer qualquer tipo de sentido. Agora, por onde começar? Há pouco a brincar dizia para começar pelo principio, mas é mesmo. Normalmente quando se faz um planeamento estratégico, nomeadamente na área de sistemas de informação, é um planeamento estratégico que tem um, dois, três anos. Nós não podemos guardar todos os benefícios da organização para o final do planeamento estratégico, não faz sentido, até porque isso não mobiliza a organização. Nós temos que identificar logo quais vão sendo aquelas milestones, os benefícios de curto prazo, que vamos identificando. Porque isso por um lado é importante no valor acrescentado que vai trazer, mas também na mobilização da organização para desafios mais importantes, mais complexos porque se vê o beneficio que está a ter, que está a trazer para dentro de casa.

Change always starts with people and teams. Will companies have to restructure, rethink positions and employees to face this new reality?

TR – Sim é verdade, eu realmente acredito que esta transformação digital vai trazer uma grande oportunidade para a área financeira. Toda esta automação de tarefas mais rotineiras, mais técnicas, vai permitir aos colaboradores focarem-se em tarefas de maior valor acrescentado, tarefas mais estratégicas e assim permitir que a direção financeira assuma dentro de uma organização um papel de maior destaque e mais estratégico. Mas obviamente não há bela sem senão. E isto traz-nos desafios. Eu colocaria aqui dois grandes desafios. Por um lado as pessoas, como estava a focar. Será que estas pessoas, ao dia de hoje, têm a competência para assumir novas missões? Que competências são necessárias, como as vamos preparar? Isto no capítulo das pessoas. A outra grande área têm a ver com a forma como se trabalha. Claramente existem algumas funções que com a automação vão desaparecer da forma como as conhecemos ao dia de hoje, em prol desta automação. Na grande maioria haverá uma evolução. Vamos ter funções mais ricas porque vamos deixar cair coisas mais rotineiras e certamente a direção financeira vai ganhar aqui algumas novas funções que habitualmente não estavam no ecossistema da área financeira e que vão transitar para fazer face a esta transformação. Por último, porque estamos a ver que isto é uma transformação que tem que acontecer e portanto é essencial a direção financeira refletir um bocadinho sobre qual é que é o propósito e visão que quer para a sua área e a partir daqui perceber “Ok, se queremos ir para aqui, onde estamos hoje? Qual é o caminho que temos de percorrer?”. Para ter aqui no fundo um roadmap que consiga guiar as pessoas. Isto suportado também em quê? Comunicação. Porque as pessoas não são robôs, têm emoções, têm receios que são perfeitamente legítimos, por isso temos que acompanhar isto como uma narrativa da mudança em que elas percebam o que elas ganham, cada um deles, e o que ganha a direção e a organização no seu todo.

What role should the CFO play in defining the digital transition strategy?

OM – A Covid para nós, como já ouvi aqui dizer, mais do que um desafio foi uma oportunidade de percebermos o que podíamos fazer, no fundo talvez, até a identificação da possibilidade e da preparação que todos tínhamos para nos superar e que não sabíamos que tínhamos. Indo agora de encontro à sua questão, qual é o desafio do CFO e da função de um CFO na organização? Eu acho que efetivamente se verificou que a função financeira cada vez mais tem que assumir um papel estratégico na organização. Grande parte das funções que nós lhe atribuíamos no passado, como seja a correta conversão dos números em demonstrações financeiras, o reporting, toda a parte do accounting propriamente dito, até do compliance, rapidamente vimos transformar essas atividades em algo que está cada vez mais automatizado e que se não o estiver  nós temos que aumentar esse nível de automação. E reserva-se ao CFO, e também a todas as pessoas da área financeira, um papel consultor. E eu diria que esse papel consultor começa exatamente na definição da estratégia da organização.

The digital transformation that goes beyond the financial function, is a transformation of the company's business. It is a transformation of the company's own culture. That is why we, the financial area, have to be with the organization to ask the questions that must be asked at all times. What is the balanced trade off between outsorcing and automation? It does not make sense for routine tasks as we speak, and that generate little added value for the company, to invest in systems to do them. It probably makes sense to outsource them. Other tasks, which effectively generate value for the company, namely because they have the capacity to collect data that will later be essential for decision making, it makes sense to invest in these systems. The financial function, which is normally identified as a function responsible for cutting costs, must also identify areas that do not generate added value. And if they are the first areas to propose cost savings, they clearly also have to look for areas where investment is needed. Even to identify new areas of revenue and those areas of investment, there is clearly this technology component that we will talk about throughout this conversation as a great help for its development. So at the same time that these questions arise, we cannot help but optimize what we have at home. What is at stake? We have a set of systems that probably, in the great majority of companies, and in ours this was very noticeable, are not used to their maximum capacity. We have several areas that were not even touched on in terms of usage. And so the first point is in the strategic reflection we do: what makes sense to maintain and optimize, this is the first chapter that I would say that the financial function has to have. And then, somehow, with this optimization having the ability to process the data, put it at the service of the organization and allow the decision making to be as supported as possible. And I even add another point, which is very important for the CFO, which is to keep calm and serenity. I draw your attention, we all live in pandemic times when I felt deep down that there was a lot of stress and I think it is very important that the organization, through the financial function, the CEO and many other functions, send the message that the organization is prepared , is doing the work it has to do, and the people who are part of the organization can be sure that we will win this cycle and other cycles. That is why I say that we have to be calm, but also in search of opportunities.

What challenges do CFO's face in this context of accelerated digital transition within companies?

RH – We have already managed to speak several times in a word that is transformation. Transformation is a very deep thing and for something that is very deep there has to be a strategy. Be it good or bad, because people in an organization need to feel that there is leadership, that there is a direction, that there is indeed a guideline and that we know where we are going. Which of course there will be, and in today's times with the uncertainty that lies ahead, we have to keep in mind, that if the short term was a year, today are weeks and the medium term is perhaps less than a year, or is one year on the limit. And the theme of strategy, for a CFO, has a set of challenges in it that I will address in a different way. The financial and fiscal function, I always speak in this broader perspective, because the CFO always has “to the leg”, in quotes, a friend who is the Tax Authority, the regulators, in short, a series of entities, stakeholders, whom has also accountable. Not only to its own shareholders, to whom it has to generate value, but also a set of stakeholders to whom it is accountable, who are ensuring that the entity is complying with the rules. And in fact reorganizing, defining this strategy, has a set of challenges in itself. Within a financial area there are typically no technology skills. There are financial skills, there are fiscal skills, but there are no IT skills. So we need to think about whether or not we need to have other types of competencies within, whether within the organization there are IT competencies that the financial function needs or does not exist. And then think about whether we are going to look for a partner in cosourcing or outsorcing so that we can have the IT solution for the financial function. We need to think about systems, and there is a panoply of systems. There are systems specific to the financial function, but there are business systems and all of them can and must be interconnected. The financial function is usually the data custodian within the organization. Here I read for a while that only 1% of the data that exists within an organization is used. They are typically those used for what historically was the financial function, or the role of the CFO, or that the CFO managed, as compliance essentially, reporting. But today there are many more. And it is necessary not to look at historical information, but to foresee the future. E é muito mais aí que tem que estar o papel do CFO  e não no passado. The past must be done in an automated way, the future needs to be the focus of the CFO. And so these are the challenges that a CFO faces, and defining a strategy with all this and being able to reconcile all these variables is not easy. But it is necessary to start doing it quickly, because it has already been realized that it is not necessary to try to have the perfect strategy, because however perfect the strategy is, we will have to adjust it according to what will be the way ahead and the exogenous variables that appear.

Can we say that information systems are being used to their fullest? What obstacles are there to this full implementation?

DO – I would say that Rui touched on a point that I think is super relevant, which has to do with the way technology is used. Technology can exist, this is almost as if we have a very good car, and a less good car. If neither of us knows how to drive either, the two are of little use. Therefore, the question of competence and the ability to use technology is increasingly pressing. I think that more and more organizations have been very careful with this, that need is being addressed. Mas fugindo agora um bocadinho à parte das competências e enveredado para outra área: eu acho que temos que olhar para a maturidade digital  das organizações. Understand your digital maturity. And this has a lot to do with the issue I mentioned about the little alignment of the business with the strategic planning of the area of ​​information systems, but then it goes beyond. Because? Because we have to look back, because we have a past, we have a legacy, we have to look at all these issues. Look at implementations that were made a long time ago and did not follow the methodologies that exist today and that must be followed, such as agile methodologies or making good change management. In the past, technology was implemented and it worked, so people were not very eager, nor were they working on it, let us call them that, for themselves to use the platforms. We often have good technology that no one is using because no one knows what it does. Then it has to do with the business itself. We talk a lot here about fast, short-term developments, that the long term is now more and more the short term, and we also have to realize that business evolves very quickly. What happens in many organizations and situations is that the business has evolved in such a way that technology has not kept pace with the business. I will use an expression that we often use in technology: mushrooms are created, various systems are created around those systems, which are the core systems of the company that add complexity. They will often add antibodies to those who are using them and therefore are not used to the full. And then, in my understanding, there is another fact that has many times to do with divestment in the area of ​​technology. In some organizations, because technology is considered, in quotation marks, “non-core”, there is a divestment in the areas of technology. This, once again, because the average user is not in line with their expectations, not being in line with what the employee's expectations are, often causes the employee not to produce as much, not being so eager to participate. There is clearly a point here too, this divestment often brings cyber security risks into organizations, when it shouldn't.

We know that the CFO of the future will have to have the skills to lead in the digital age: what skills are these?

TR – Clearly they have to have additional skills, in addition to those they were used to in their day-to-day. Basically, we are talking about a balance between more technological skills, therefore more digital, and the human component. Because as we move forward with one, the other has to go hand in hand, with empathy at the center. When we think about our new context, I think there are three challenges for a leader and a CFO. First having to manage teams in different formats. At this moment, we have face-to-face teams, remote teams and mixed teams, which are the ones that bring the most challenges, because we have to be with those in the office and with those at home. This on the one hand, on the other, the constitution of the teams is slightly different in terms of employment relationships. Temos os colaboradores full time, que é aquilo que nós conhecemos de forma mais tradicional, mas cada vez mais estamos a ir buscar free lancers, ou seja pessoas com competências muito especificas que a organização quando precisa para determinado projeto vai buscar, temos o outsorcing e agora vamos começar a ter os robôs  com a automação. So we have elements with completely different expectations within the same team, which will force a leader, and a CFO, to think about how to manage this very different team to guarantee the delivery of the best results. Finally, third point, it is really how I am going to take this technological disruption and pass it on to my people as an opportunity and not as a threat. Starting from these challenges in terms of skills: we have already talked a lot and clearly about the digital skills that are necessary to put on top of the usual skills, in the most financial area. Then another very important area has to do with behavioral skills, to manage this team. And I would highlight two sets of skills here, one has to do with the self, the other with the team. With the self clear, because everything starts with me. As a leader, I have to be well to be able to lead. I would say that the first has to do even with the emotional balance that now comes with this pandemic framework. Because I am a leader but I am also a person. How am I going to re-energize and be balanced? And even more at distances. How can I be more resilient, because the challenges are ever greater. On the other hand, and also playing with this, the adaptability. I increasingly have to be more flexible, the market is changing very quickly, it is very complex, and I will have to manage in the face of ambiguity. I will have to make very important decisions in contexts where I don't know all the variables. And I cannot convey this anxiety to the team. The last, still from the self, is related to curiosity. We have access to a lot of information. Claro que é impossível chegar a todo o lado, mas  tenho que perceber para onde caminham, as tendências, para me conseguir desafiar a mim e à equipa. Create new insights, question what is being done. So I would say that in terms of self, these are essential for me to be able to design and manage the best way for me and the team. Dentro  equipa, e agora um tema que nestes meses tem estado muito nas preocupações do líder, tem a ver então como é que eu vou liderar as minhas pessoas que estão à distância. No fundo é criar  um equilíbrio entre o controlo e a confiança. Because I am not with people, I have to trust. Traditional leadership was still very much a process control leadership and now people have to focus more and more on results. Obviously with metrics, because we have to keep track, but it is a lot here and we believe that in the medium term the teams will be increasingly autonomous and more productive because they will not be dependent on the leadership for everything. Another fact has to do with communication. Once again, we are at a distance we have to communicate closeness, but at the same time clarity, but also to inspire. We have already seen that this transformation that is coming is going to be great, so I have to inspire for a future that employees want and understand. Finally, the leader has to coach his teams, accompany, develop and challenge his teams.

The CFO of the future will have to have enormous fluency in digital - is it impossible to circumvent this requirement for a financial executive?

OM – Yes, clearly, the skills of a CFO have been somewhat challenged and extended. As I said earlier, the CFO has to increasingly assume the role of strategist, and be increasingly part of the strategy definition and not so much concerned with the process. Because the process somehow, if we have the right systems, a large part of the function is now ensured by the system. We have to focus now on being the organization's consultants, and for that we have to be constantly challenging our team and the organization itself. In times of pandemic, I remember perfectly, we spent the day in forecasts and reforecasts. In other words, I think that here the CFO started to need to exploit to the maximum the information that is available, not only in the financial systems itself, but in all operating systems that can in some way complement the financial systems and allow to create predictability and creating scenarios, in some way creating information for the various stakeholders. I recall that the Boards of Directors start to meet weekly, they no longer have those monthly meetings. Because? There was a need to monitor the day-to-day and what awaited us. The CFO had to gain the ability to master variables, that is, those assumptions that we do on a day-to-day basis, which will happen. We are faced with scenarios that we had not previously thought of and without precedents, so we have to prepare ourselves and the only way is to start thinking about what consequences the change of any variable will have and to dominate in some way, through the systems, because we there is another way, this change. And obviously not only do we have to be prepared to use the systems, but also make this information available to the entire organization, so that every decision making is not made without the use of data that the organization can have in some way and can help in making decision-making. And then all the other components from the team's point of view, which we will certainly talk about. Here, too, there is the challenge of having the right profiles and having teams with the multidisciplinarity that it should have. Obviously I would love to have several IT people on the team, but it probably won't make sense. What I have is to make use of those skills that are already in the organization and I have to bring them to work with us, as a team. And that is also a great challenge to add to the area of ​​technology and digital knowledge, of which no one knows, but which we all have to walk to know more and better.

Can the finance function take advantage of digitization? In what processes? What role will automation, Artificial Intelligence and machine learning play in the CFO's work for example?

RH – A Covid-19 não veio mudar, não é o marco de mudança do papel do CFO. Isto era algo que obviamente já estava a acontecer. A Covid-19 é um acelerador de algo que já se vinha a sentir que era uma necessidade e uma tendência. E é de facto algo que vem dar nos a certeza também, hoje em dia, que precisamos de ter uma capacidade de análise muito rápida e saber reagir muito rapidamente. E como eu dizia há pouco o CFO é alguém que está a coordenar uma área que está a gerir uma imensidão de dados que a organização tem.  Informação é poder, dados hoje em dia são fundamentais para se puderem tomar decisões, são fundamentais para permitir que de facto as decisões sejam sustentadas. São fonte de tudo: de receita, de redução de custos, para podermos gerir melhor as nossas organizações. E portanto o CFO tem neste momento uma oportunidade de ouro para deixar de, ou alguma forma demonstrar à administração ou aos stakeholders da organização, que não é uma mera função de suporte, não é um área de compliance, de reporting. Que é de facto uma área que gere essa imensidão de dados, que os tais 1%  podem-se transformar em muito mais com a ajuda da tecnologia, com todas as ferramentas que existem, todas elas combinadas e com todo o desenvolvimento tecnológico que hoje existe, que amanhã será completamente diferente. E nós vamos ter que estar a acompanhar tudo isto, e é muito rápido. E nós vamos ter que ter capacidade e sensibilidade. Não vamos ter que ter tecnólogos, não temos que saber o que é aquilo, temos que saber o que é que existe, e que nos pode ajudar a desempenhar a nossa função. E portanto significa que esta é oportunidade de ouro para o CFO se afirmar na organização como sendo de facto o oráculo da informação, dos dados, que pode organizar dados, estruturá-los para beneficio de todas as outras áreas da organização, seja a área comercial, a área de negócios, qualquer uma, em função das necessidades que qualquer uma delas tem. E com isso em vez de ter uma mera função de compliance, ter a tal função de geração de valor que ainda por cima consegue quantificar, como tem este privilégio de ter uma experiência muito grande de gerir números, trabalhar números, consegue inclusivamente quantificar, que traduz para dentro da organização e demonstrá-lo aos seus acionistas, demonstrá-lo ao resto do board. Portanto eu acho que é a oportunidade ouro do CFO de se afirmar dentro da organização como uma função de charneira e não de back office. E este é um beneficio que acho que é enorme. Este é o momento, e neste momento, como em tudo, é  preciso estar no sitio certo, no momento certo e tirar daí a oportunidade.

How should companies get started with intelligent automation projects?

DO – Intelligent automation processes are often compared to a process in which I will robotize anything and I will be able to dismiss a number of employees. intelligent automation and intelligent automation processes should not be considered in this way at all. Rui spoke recently about how we transformed the financial area and the CFO much more into a business partner and a function that is not merely compliance. Especially because if we look at the organization we see that all processes at the end of the day flow to the financial area. Now if this is true, when we start automation processes we must look at the organization as a whole, in a transversal way. Because? Because if we look at one project, or several automation projects in a purely tactical way, what we might be doing is eventually correcting or identifying benefits that in reality could be much greater benefits if we looked at the processes, which is as soon as they flow within the organization, as completely transversal to the organization. Portanto não é só redução de custos, mas também aumento do controle, que já foi falado aqui, (gestão de risco hoje em dia na área financeira é uma coisa super importante), estamos a falar também de  informação. Let's assume the following, eventually there is someone in a certain area who is doing an activity that takes him one morning and then takes five minutes to analyze. If we manage to automate this activity and make that person invest five minutes to make the report and four hours to analyze it, perhaps the financial information and the analysis that will follow from there is much more valuable for the organization than the other way around. . And then we are not reducing costs, we are increasing value in a different way. There is also another point, which has much more to do with the technological stack and the technology system that is also equally important. Companies have many technological platforms and some of these platforms to answer what the needs of those same companies are, what they have to do is make customizations within those platforms. As soon as customizations are made, the TCO (total cost of ownership) of these companies increases, because they need upgrades, updates, a number of things. Customizations are there, the costs associated with that are very high. We look at these opportunities and make these operations take place abroad, through robots, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and there are now numerous solutions that can be applied to avoid these types of issues. So when we talk about looking at an automation process, what I understand is that we have to look at it in a completely transversal way, we have to look at the organization and the processes in a transversal way, identify the opportunities, quantify the opportunities and these opportunities are often not monetary, they are of added value like the ones I was identifying for the company, and then go after them. And then make it happen. But again it has to be a partnership between the different areas.

Will companies play a key role in re-skilling and up-skilling their teams to respond to the new paradigm? Is internal training sufficient?

TR – This is really very important. We have to put employees at the center of this digital transformation. Last year the Harvard Bussiness Review published an article that went on to explore why so many digital transformation processes failed. Gastavam-se biliões e  falhavam, porquê? We had a lot of strategy, a lot of technology, but we didn't have the people with the right skills and mobilized for them. This has to be aligned to make the most of it. Hence the part of the workers' reskilling is essential. As we have been talking about here, this has to start with a concerted and transversal strategy, as an organization and from then on, understand, in face of this strategy, what our competences are for us. We even have the social role of the organization, trying to do this development of employees. Portanto é essencial mapear, porque cada organização terá as  suas necessidades, face às especificidade, face ao sector, face ao contexto, e às suas próprias competências do futuro. And it is good that you do your reflection. E  o que nos dizem as grandes tendências em termos de evolução das competências? We are moving from very technical and specialized skills to more holistic, more strategic skills, which contain different types of knowledge. For example, solving complex problems, global mind set, ends this trend. Then obviously adjusted to each of the organizations. First step is to map our skills for the future. Second, knowing what we actually have at home. There are many organizations that do not know. They have an idea, but here we have to be more surgical. Because? To realize effectively, we have to invest, we have to invest in development. I can't even run the risk of spending money on things that were not as critical as others. This is where we are going to make this game, to understand where we are going to design talent accelerator programs. Now, answering your question, to train internally or go to the market. There has been a trend in the last two years to go to the market, because they were skills that we didn't have at home, that were new. But also what was quickly realized was that these competencies did not exist that much in the market either, because they are very holistic competencies. Portanto neste momento o que as empresa estão  a optar é por elas próprias criarem programas de desenvolvimento de reskilling das suas pessoas. Now a very important point, we cannot work on competences without remembering the organization's culture. This is where it all lives and culture has our values, our key drivers, that we are promoting. So it is also time for companies to revisit their culture and understand how they have to evolve. I am not saying to change, because culture is part of identity, but to evolve to be aligned with these challenges of this digital age. Finally, to finish, are the processes. Because then I can have the new skills, but I still do performance management over old things, or think about recognizing old things. So it turns out to be an ecosystem that has to be integrated. However, most companies do not have the ability, at one moment to the other, to do everything. Now the important thing is to think about it and then do it gradually, in a phased manner, starting with what is most critical but, and to close, give people a path. People have to understand the path and how we are going to get there. Let's do this and that.

When we talk about this future of work, what challenges are posed to the financial area, regarding the subject of people?

OM – I think this is in fact the biggest challenge and we, the financial function, already started to feel it quickly when people, when our teams started to work remotely. I remember that, from one day to the next, my team was not present and the big challenge, I believe that for the financial function, but also for the whole organization, namely for those who manage teams, it is basically having and developing the capacity to lead these teams. Because the way to keep them focused changes a lot. People will be at home at work, we will not have that ability to be constantly supervising what they are doing. And we talked a little bit about trust, and trust is somehow also dependent on our ability to know how to manage them. I remember perfectly that one of the biggest challenges is exactly passing this focus on to people. Where are our goals, what do we want. We have to stop thinking that the management of these people will be done in the same way. We have to be more attentive, listen to people more, be aware of body language, even define completely different performance evaluation goals. In other words, it will not be an evaluation by the number of operations that they perform, but probably because they reach an objective, at the end of a day, of a certain period. We have to rethink all of this, but at the same time motivate people to maintain that focus. Not to forget the point I mentioned earlier about multidisciplinarity. We started to work with people with skills that we were not used to gathering in the same discussion forum. And that is why it is now necessary to bring them all, to take, in the end, what each one can add and conjugate to this joint work in favor of such objectives that we have set for them. And we, in some way, these teams, we have to know how to motivate them. We have to retain talent. I consider, and we have several proofs of that, that if we don't retain the talent, the organization loses a lot. It is necessary to know how to retain that same talent, to keep the performance teams in a way that is attached to the company's culture and organization. That, in my view, is a challenge. And it is a challenge that is only possible if we know very well what we have at home, the people we have, the skills we have, what do they need to reach this ideal point of focus and contribute to those same goals . Somehow we lead these people on the path that we consider to be the right path. So I would say that we have great and interesting challenges ahead in this championship. The balance is very positive, not least because we challenge ourselves every day to be different in a different way to our role, which I think can only be interesting.

 

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