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Expert Exchange

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How do you get the experience to become CFO?

by Simon Moore on 16 Jul 2018

As we explored in a recent post, the development of finance specialisms means organisations are at risk of not being able to find someone rounded enough to become CFO.

In a PLC environment, unless you have previously been a CFO of a listed company, the shareholders are wary of anyone being promoted internally because they are worried they don’t have the necessary experience. Additionally, in a PE environment, if you haven’t been the CFO of a PE-backed business, PE houses don’t want to talk to you.

So how can organisations find a better balance between breadth and expertise across all financial disciplines, to allow senior finance executives to step up into the number 1 role?

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Are finance specialisms hindering succession planning?

by Simon Moore on 09 Jul 2018

In a recent survey by BIE, 43% of respondents felt that the development of specialisms within finance was hindering CFO succession planning.

This highlights a challenge for the future leaders of finance in today’s heavily siloed business environment. They need to find a balance between specialising in a financial discipline and getting broad exposure across all aspects of the function in order to develop more rounded experience necessary to progress to the top.

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Why external talent is so valuable in delivering step change

by Ben Hawkins on 02 Jul 2018

BIE’s Business Transformation Survey 2018 revealed that on average, 25% of an organisation’s transformation team is made up of external talent.

So why is external talent so valuable in delivering step change? And what role does external talent play in business transformation?

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6 signs your business may need an interim manager

by Marty Jaynes on 25 Jun 2018

Interim managers are an indispensable resource for organisations seeking to adapt and change. They have been used successfully by organisations across all industries and all job functions throughout the UK and globally.

Interim managers are commissioned at a senior level on an assignment basis and take the lead on vital projects that may be outside the skill set of the current team. A typical assignment can last between three and twelve months depending on the complexity and nature of the business requirement.

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How to land bigger and better opportunities as an interim

by Emma-Claire Kavanagh on 18 Jun 2018

This topic comes from one of our newsletter subscribers, who recently asked us to write an article on "career management for seasoned Interims. How to grow and take on bigger new roles not done before."

Interim managers typically combine depth and breadth of expertise in their chosen sectors and discipline. But what happens when you want to work in a new sector, in a different location, or on a different type of project? Or when you just want something new?

Are these opportunities available?

In the end, the most successful career interims at the senior end are good because they have broad experience that makes them more marketable. So how do you ensure the doors to these opportunities are open?

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Money doesn't always incentivise employees during transformation

by Ben Hawkins on 12 Jun 2018

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough, so they don't want to.”
Richard Branson


Employee engagement
is one of the fundamental pillars of a successful business transformation programme.

But how do you keep employees motivated while going through change? Especially when delivery of the transformation may mean they lose their jobs?

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The tipping point for investing in HR

by Hilary Pearl on 04 Jun 2018

When a business is first starting out, developing an HR function isn’t on the agenda. And nor does it need to be. But even in some small to medium-sized businesses with up to 250 employees, HR can be overlooked.

But what happens when organisations do recognise the need to invest in HR? Where do they start with putting it in place? And what role can interims play?

In this blog post, HR interim Hilary Pearl discusses the tipping point for businesses, what needs to be put in place from an HR perspective, and what skills are needed to be effective.

The HR tipping point

When a business is small; when the CEO knows everybody and everybody knows them, there’s a real personal feel to the company. But when a business starts to grow, it can begin to lose some of that intimate feel, and it becomes harder to run as a small company.

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The nature of transformation

by Ben Hawkins on 29 May 2018

In our recent business transformation survey, an overwhelming 80% of senior executives said that their organisation is currently undergoing a business transformation of some nature.

The vast majority of these transformation programmes were being driven by a need to become more efficient (58%) or to reduce costs (43%).

But what is the nature of these transformations?

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Transformation buying has matured

by Ben Hawkins on 21 May 2018

20 years ago, people didn’t understand what transformation was, and an organisation certainly wouldn’t have had a permanent transformation director in their company.

Now, people understand the requirement for a centralised transformation area, and it’s almost unheard of for a company not to have a transformation director.

This means that transformation maturity inside organisations has grown. People now have a better understanding of how to deliver transformation projects.

As a result, organisations are looking to build more internal talent to deliver business transformation. Our recent survey on transformation showed that 62% of companies wanted to build more internal transformation capability.

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Boosting your bottom line through embracing gender diversity

by Janet Musgrave on 14 May 2018

Research tells us that embracing gender diversity at the senior level delivers business benefits. But what’s behind the noise? Do we really know what works, and does it really matter?

This was the topic of discussion at a round-table event held at BIE offices last month. The event was co-hosted by BIE and The Pipeline’s Margaret McDonagh, who shared insights based on her experience of working with senior women to develop their careers and with organisations to create the environment to make this happen.

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