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Viewed 192 times | Published on 2018-05-21 11:20:30


Airaghi, Andrea
CFO l'evoluzione della specie: visioni e ricette per reagire al cambiamento
BookID 151370660
ISBN 9788863451825
(see LibraryThing.com card)
Description (from Amazon)---
My review: 4/5Yes, a 2010 book focused mainly on the role and expected background/skills/behavioral characteristics of wannabe CFOs (and CEOs transitioning from a CFO role), as well as the issues related to the governance structure

Boring? No, not really- as it is composed mainly of short interviews with those "on the field", and therefore it is more a "time capsule" on Italy and how the Italian business environment and business culture, in both local and multinational companies, compare with other countries

I worked with a financial controller and then various Cxx (also to deliver training) for the first time in the late 1980s- I was younger than most BAs, had no BA, but had had already the chance since I was a teenager to focus on those themes, by "walking on the shoulder of giants" (and their local representatives)

Some of the themes in many interview resonate with my experience working with Cxxs since 1990, and I must confess that in some personal histories found a little bit discouraging that so little had changed in my country.

Anyway, there is a silver lining: compliance-based convergence at the EU and international level (e.g. IFRS, IAS, WTO, SOX) are actually challenging the status quo, and already before the 2008 crisis some of those interviewed saw changes in both expectations and career path, as well as suggested recruitment patterns that were common decades ago, but were eventually abandoned for supposedly less risky "technical" approaches more appropriate for roles that do not involve coping with uncertainty and a "liquid (corporate) society"

The most interesting part of the book is that, except here and there, there is no single "recipe for success" that those interviewed try to present as "the" solution, but a broad canvas of options, that have to be constantly re-assessed.

And that more than one highlighted how coping with crises, not just soul-wringing about what could have been done to avoid the 2008 crisis, is what matters.

Globalization had a side-effect: what could have been acceptable in the past and could be passed over to the next generation as "best practice" might in few years turn a long-cherished corporate cultural asset into a dooming liability.

It would be interesting to have an "encore" of this book right now, as some of those interviewed became actually even more visible in other roles, even in other industries, and their feed-back could probably influence some (not just in business- also politics is increasingly a matter of allocating resources looking also at their future impact, not just bean-counting today)
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