Innovation is more important than ever for organisations who want to place themselves at the forefront of their industry. In Finance Unleashed (Palgrave, 2017) Kelly Barner and Magnus Lind take a strategic approach to unveiling proven strategies that one can take to become an innovation-first company. Aimed at CFOs, procurement leaders and heads of supply chain, there are words of wisdom for all in this insightful analysis of proven strategies and theories from the likes of Tim de Knegt, Dr. Adrian Atkinson, and Sir Charles Bean. By sharing and analysing approaches from thought-leaders within the industry, this book allows you to become a beacon for financial innovation.
The core message of this book is that many companies are taking an almost neanderthalic approach to cash flow management, meaning that capital is tied up much longer than necessary when it should be invested in activities surrounding innovation. Holding the FSC accountable, change needs to come from the top with CFOs acting as a catalyst and entrepreneurs for adaptation and growth.
Part 1 – Background
The first section of the book investigates why the need for financial innovation and growth is so poignant, what drove Barner and Lind to creating this piece and 5 points, divided into 5 separate chapters, needed to be addressed. We put this question to Barner, who told us, “The process of writing this book was very different from what you might imagine while reading the final text. We had a central thesis – about finance achieving strategic status through customer centricity – and we had a list of interviewees. Parts 1 and 3 evolved outward from the content of the interviews. Our goal was to take readers on a journey, from problem identification, through the real-world experience of our experts, and finally arriving at our model and vision for the future of the financial supply chain.”
Part 2 – Perspectives
With contributions from a wide variety of sectors and masters of the field, a wonderfully dynamic collection of strategies is formed to help you in creating your own bespoke plan. Below is a list of contributors, all of which you’ll see are people of substantial note in the industry and one of the things that makes this book so fundamentally important in strategy creation – ‘to be the best you must learn from the best’:
Tim de Knegt – Visions for the Financial Supply Chain (Manager Strategic Finance & Treasury at Port of Rotterdam / Havenbedrijf Rotterdam)
Murat Erden – The Innovator CFO (Former EVP and CFO at Turkcell)
David Loseby – Nudging the Financial Supply Chain (Group Procurement Director, Inchcape plc, pursuing a Doctoral Degree focused on his research into Behavioral Procurement)
Dr. Adrian Atkinson – Leadership is Not Enough (MA MSc PhD Chartered Psychologist, Chairman, Human Factors International)
Peter Huber – Let Them Eat Cake (Transformation Lead på IKEA IT) (Building Competitive Advantage by Connecting the Physical and Financial Chains: A Study of DHL and UPS)
Sir Charles Bean – Back to the future (Professor of Economics at the London School of Economics. Former Bank of England Executive Director and Chief Economist, Former Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy)
Gary Slawther – The whole chain or separate links? (Financial Advisor to the CEO at OCTAL)
Jack Miles – Leadership is Leveraging the Full Output of Your People (Former Chief Procurement Officer for top organizations in Canada and the United States including Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC), American International Group (AIG), Cigna, Computer Associates and Ames Department Stores, Prentice Hall. Former Secretary of The Florida Department of Management Services)
Luis Manuel Hernández, Ph. D. – Financial and Operational Measurements (Secretary of Mexico’s National Manufacturing Industry Council and President of Index Tijuana, Board member of DEITAC)
Part 3 – Implications
Tying together the previous parts and looking at how one can size new opportunities, the final part concurs with a practical model for those ready to embrace new financial innovation and change.
In summary, this book is a MUST-READ for those who want to earn how to engage the entirety of your supply chain and organisation to be more proactive and technologically forward-thinking. Barner and Lind’s excellent analysis and techniques of finance management will make a positive impact on your business, allowing you to open your mind and unlock creative innovation in your approach to financial management.
Nick Ford, Executive Director at Odesma, reviewed the book and said:
“Lind and Barner wonderfully bring together the key facets and implications of the “mash up” of the financial and physical supply chains driven by the De-globalization and Disintermediation of the Banks and the emergence of digitalised manufacturing supply chains. The positioning of the book, frequently written from a CFO perspective operating on either side of the financial institution or manufacturing and supply chain fence, really helps to translate global economic theory into the key aspects and challenges of future corporate strategy.”
Available from Amazon here, make sure you had this one to your reading list.