As Seen in CFO Studio Magazine Q3 2016 Issue
THE WINNERS OF THE 2016 CFO INNOVATION AWARDS SHARE THEIR THOUGHTS ON STAYING AHEAD OF THE CURVE
Innovators are men and women who make a difference in their chosen endeavors. Through their energy, leadership, identification of opportunities and risks, big thinking, unwavering dedication, and farsightedness, the 12 CFOs being honored this year are bettering 12 companies or tax-exempt organizations. Their bold actions have brought increased resources and/or respect to their employers. We asked each of the winners what they would say about CFOs as innovators. Several spoke about creating or carrying forward the company’s strategy. Others mentioned getting the most from their team. What these CFOs do every day is not unique, but it is highly successful because they have clear goals, leadership agility, and a plan for dealing with risk.
CFO MASTERY AWARD
The CFO of a company having $1 billion or more in annual revenue who, in any of the last three years, has demonstrated a unique mastery in supporting, growing, or enhancing the company. The company may be in any industry, and located anywhere in North or Central America.
CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER AND EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT, EXPEDIA
“In the business world — and particularly in the tech world in which we operate at Expedia, Inc. — the future is inherently uncertain. These days, having the ability to make decisions and chart a course in the face of uncertainty is a prerequisite skill for any CFO or other business leader. Tips on operating in an innovative environment: 1) Don’t be a “loner.” You don’t have all the answers; admit it — get help. 2) Know the knowable. There’s a lot of information available out there to help you consider and make timely, holistic decisions. Tap into it, and apply it. 3) When in doubt, test it. If there is limited or no data available to help inform your decision, create it. At Expedia, we conduct thousands of small, low-cost tests each year to get customer feedback via their ‘clicks.’ We then use that data to inform the evolution of our products and services. 4) Have a path back. Failure is a part of business and life. If there is an option to create a low-cost “path back” from a decision or course of action in case it does not go as planned, create the path. And then, if things do go awry, have the courage to support a culture that makes it OK to say, ‘I was wrong,’ and take that path.”
FINALISTS FOR CFO MASTERY AWARD
Gordon Lavalette, Chief Financial Officer, ION Media Network