Why the Chief Financial Officer Must Lead Organizational Innovation

Why the Chief Financial Officer Must Lead Organizational Innovation

By Ralph Kerle

My research over the last decades shows organizations have spent substantial sums on building creativity and innovation capabilities, motivating employees to participate, only to see their innovation investment come to very little. Organizational anecdotes abound about exciting ideas with strong leadership support reaching the point of final decision making only to see them blocked for a whole series of reasons – personal and organizational risk aversion, political agendas, weak and indecisive leadership. IT departments called upon to facilitate innovation as a way of saving costs struggle with stultifying technological infrastructure along with the other 100 projects they are currently building and the rhetoric of the continual improvement acolytes ensuring organizations maintain their business as usual approach. The list for “why not” is endless.

My observations suggest there is another less obvious reason. Innovation in many instances fails not because of any lack of intention rather there is a very vital and important element missing from the discussion – the financial leader. In other words, the elephant simply is not in the room.

I will be discussing three practical examples that bought me to this conclusion in the upcoming posts.

To learn what these three examples are, stay tuned for the next article on Thursday, June 16, 2016. This is one of a four part series, CFO’s Role in Innovation Series.

There will also be a webinar discussing some of these topics on June 28th.

Learn more about PreScouter at www.prescouter.com.

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