Monday, July 25, 2011

One CFO's Focus on Personnel

CFOs, of course oversee all financial and accounting matters. (They are Chief Financial Officers.) In addition they often also oversee the human resources and IT functions/departments. However, according to one article on, A Man of the People, "For some CFOs, human-capital issues are like gnats: something to just swat out of the way in order to focus on the next financing deal or presentation to investors." Some SMB CFOs see HR as a necessary evil, something they manage because they have to or because they know the company needs them to do so.

However, some SMB CFOs do embrace the responsibility and see HR as one more means, in addition to financial, to help their company accomplish its strategic goals. One such person is Keith Taylor. "Taylor is the new finance chief of Lyris, a $40 million publicly held provider of e-mail marketing solutions. He was brought in to tackle people issues as much as financial ones. Of course, it's common for CFOs to wear the human-resources hat at small companies."

"Taylor's rationale for being personally involved on the people side is straightforward: "Throughout my career, I've tried to set companies apart by asking why we are successful and how we can be more successful. Well, if we've got high turnover, or the wrong people in the wrong roles at the wrong time, or with the wrong focus or cultural attributes, we're going to be less successful."" (The bolding is mine. To read more, go to A Man of the People.)

I liked this article because it emphasizes how crucial the right people are to building a viable, sustainable business. Business owners and their CFOs and other executive management team members understand that it is the people that help the company grow and accomplish its objectives. It doesn't matter how much you automate your business, your business will still involve people. To the extent that you empower everyone from the top down and bottom up, your company will reap the results. The best way to ensure that is to make sure that you as the business owner believe in the importance of your people...then make sure you hire accordingly.

(Note: SMBs=small and medium businesses)


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