Four out of five CFOs are finding that their teams lack the skills needed to help drive growth and add value to the business, according to a CFO survey by Corporate Executive Board (CEB).
CEB identified three non-technical skill groups that are most critical to long-term business success: builder, persuader, and strategist.
The survey found out of 968 finance staff only 5 per cent had persuader competencies, 7 per cent had strategist competencies and 11 per cent had builder competencies. This compares to 28 per cent who had a good ability to get on and do tasks and 17 per cent who had a good ability to learn and improve on their performance.
Finance teams that invest in a combination of builder, strategist, and persuader competencies are three times more likely to be highly productive, and nearly three times more likely to be strong in attracting and retaining the best talent, according to the survey.
“The majority of CFOs are unhappy with the mix of talent on their teams and believe their teams lack the skills to help the organisation make the right decisions. Over half of executives say their teams don’t have the right skills mix to meet evolving business needs,” the report of the survey reads.
“All too often, finance teams lack the requisite skills to evolve from a controlling or reporting role into a consultative partner role because the talent management approach lags behind the service model (i.e., it is still configured to help them find the best accountants and MBA finance graduates).”
The survey also found that when it comes to finding employees with a good mix of competencies only 1 per cent of 1074 finance staff demonstrated a high proficiency in the skills that matter most to business such as the ability to understand the business drivers, simplify and explain complex ideas, and create vision and foster buy-in.
“It is much easier to evaluate technical roles, where there’s often a degree or professional certification to serve as a proxy for competency. Yet we find the best finance teams pay as much attention to softer skills as they do to technical competencies.”