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John Symons Blog
Please join me in sharing ideas in mentoring, leadership and realising peoples potential.
Posted by John on Jun 17 13
It’s time for Action.
I normally write about the challenges of Finance Leaders and their priority areas of focus. I share those thoughts and experience with you because I am passionate about Finance getting ‘out of the numbers and into the business’. Through those ideas I aim to provoke, expand, support and disturb – in a nice way of course.
It builds upon my role as an Executive Mentor where I am privileged to work with CFOs and Senior Finance Leaders dealing with these real issues through their own personal leadership journey. We’ve all been talking individually about the impact that a CFO makes in these volatile times so it’s time to step it up and collaborate as a group.
Today it is time to make that happen. I am excited to announce our new CFO conference in Melbourne brought to you by The Finance Leaders Alliance. It will expand nationally but Melbourne is a great place to start. (more…)
Posted by John on May 15 13
Have you noticed that roles in Finance are in constant tension between Assurance and Professional Advice? I tee’d up that conversation last month from a strategic clarity perspective (see my blog) but today I want to peel those layers back a bit. I think this easily relates to the metaphor of Yin and Yang and the affect when those natural tensions are out of balance. (more…)
Posted by John on Apr 17 13
Deep down, CFO’s and Senior Finance Leaders essentially deliver two things – Assurance AND Professional Advice (to drive business performance). How we do this, makes a HUGE difference to the value we create, the people we work with and the influence we hold.
My concern in this conversation with you is that we sometimes get lost in the detail. (more…)
Posted by John on Feb 15 13
Check out this animation from Daniel Pink for a new perspective on what motivates us and why organisations often have their teams uninspired. I’ve mentioned it before but wanted to paste the permanent link here for easy access. DRIVE (more…)
Posted by John on Feb 12 13
I saw the new movie Lincoln on the weekend which was epic in many ways. A constant tension in the movie was the seemingly impossible choices he had to make. In a poignant moment, Lincoln discussed his strategy with a colleague who argued for sticking to his moral compass. At the time , I thought of the many board rooms I’ve sat in where we have had this same conversation. (more…)
Posted by John on Jan 7 13
I love the new year. It generates huge possibilities for what we wish to create. In our work setting this is akin to the brief and rarely delivered new years eve resolution. Isn’t it strange that we need an event (year end) to crystalise action with a new focus. I am sure that’s tied up with much of the human psyche but I cant justify that comment. I just like the fresh start. (more…)
Posted by John on Dec 10 12
Collaboration is powerful for uplift. I say this because none of us expect to have all the answers. In fact, in this modern world, our team are knowledge workers who are likely to know more about their specialisation than you. With information at everyone’s fingertips (in the web) we have come to realise that information is not knowledge and knowledge in not action.
That is why collaboration is so important. How you lead is everything. At The Finance Leaders Alliance we bring expertise and experience to collaborate with you for stretch , challenge and private support. You gain a professional and confidential peer in your corner.
Simply put, this is all about Leverage. We know that CFO’s of the future operate as true business partners. It’s what we do with the numbers that counts.
read more….The Finance Leaders Alliance
Posted by John on Nov 14 12
Like all big projects, leadership development takes time. People often attend a training event and then try to apply a few learning’s but the habits do not form and they become re-consumed in their urgent activity. In business we understand the value of planning and a longer term horizon. We frame our approach with clear direction of purpose and map our objectives, milestones and activity based upon internal resources and external conditions. We step it out over time and adjust when the conditions change. (more…)
Posted by John on Sep 17 12
My newsletter this month speaks about the role of Finance as a true business partner. It’s problematic because even though it’s a strategic imperative for Finance to provide professional insight and drive the performance of it’s organisation it can be mired on both sides of the relationship. (more…)
Posted by John on Aug 29 12
As Finance Teams mature I see them reach very high quality in operational excellence but then they wonder..what next? For me, the next step in a high performing team is about clarity of purpose, bold ambition and a culture of innovation. It means a very clear focus on the Why with a spirit of creativity on the What and How.