AK Consulting Attended the 2016 CFO Summit
The CFO Summit was conducted from the 17th to the 19th of March. The format of the event provided an intensive update on a wide range of topics critical to the CFO community and the wider Australian Business.
The event was expertly chaired by Mr Damon Kitney, Business Editor at The Australian. Mr Kitney facilitated the smooth and on-time flow of the agenda and added some great insights at key points in the proceedings.
There were a few themes that emerged over the 3 day events.
- The current status of the Australian Economy
- The instability in the political landscape globally
- The key role CFO’s play in business transformations
- Space in this blog limits the ability to do these topics sufficient justice.
To nominate a few sessions as highlights was a difficult task. From an inspiring and thought provoking aspect, there were four sessions that stood out.
“Building a World Class Finance Team Through Global Best Practice” by Kenneth Christie, CFO NAB Wealth & MLC, National Australia Bank.
The insightful moment was the catalyst that started this journey. Not all great transformations start from a cataclysmic event. The first step could be as simple as having the desire to be the best you can be.
“Achieve More with Less: Building a Strategic Finance Function to Drive Organisational Change Under Budget Constraints” by Adam Summons, CFO & Executive Director, Fire & Rescue NSW
The sheer scale of the challenge involved was mind boggling. Not only from the aspect of the numbers of people involved, the size of the budget and the physical resources needed but also in an environment where people’s lives are at stake. In the 2014/15 year, the Service responded to an incident every 4 minutes! Mr Summons passion for serving the community was the continuing thread throughout the session. Very inspiring.
“Avoiding the Kodak Moment: Evolving With Your Business to Stay Ahead of Competitors” by Tony Taylor, CEO, Police Bank.
This session challenged the status quo thinking. If you don’t continuously challenge your companies position and the way things are done, you will lose relevance and the downward spiral will accelerate. Mr Taylor’s presentation style was ideal for the sessions time slot – second last session of the conference. Mt Taylor’s wit and candour was perfectly balanced by his great insight.
The closing keynote session was “Live, Lead and Inspire with Great Purpose” by Paula Kensington, COO & CFO, Regus Australia & New Zealand. The continuing thread that linked the session together was what got us to here won’t get us to there. How can you prepare for and take advantage of an ever increasing rate of change?
Overall, the summit was a well organised event that provided insight and challenged your thinking.