In uncertain times, look to your CFO
Uncertainty is the business word of the moment. In truth, there is always uncertainty. Smart business leaders understand this implicitly. The best partner to have during this time is a CFO. A great CFO is a master at making decisions with imperfect information, in other words, uncertainty.
Here’s what I advise my clients to do now…Make a plan, then act quickly.
I don’t mean just a financial plan; I mean an operational plan with a well-documented set of assumptions. Craft a short, medium and long-term plan identifying exactly what levers to pull and when based on set of expected outcomes. If “x” happens, we do “y” and so forth. Then, take action. This process brings control. With control comes peace of mind. With peace of mind comes better decisions.
I remember how John Chambers, former CEO of Cisco, managed the company through the dot-com crisis to emerge stronger than before. I viewed a recent webcast where he offered advice from his past experience. It made great sense, so I’m sharing what I took away: Be decisive as an organization. Be visible as a leader. Be realistic, are your problems of your own doing, or from the current crisis. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Address the underlying issues, not the symptoms. Good stuff.