Everybody has a point of view. Very few dare to step up. They believe they are not the right person to do that as it is not in their job description. It was not in mine either: I am the CFO. Yet I decided to step out of my comfort zone – the only way to make a difference.
Our organization had gone through some pretty rough times in the recent past. You could feel that in the energy of the organization. The financial crisis had taken a toll, and a merger between two companies (BNP Paribas and Fortis Bank) had created a cultural disconnect – and I realized that our discussions were too focused on what had happened in the past. People were questioning our company identity. I, of course, agreed with my co-workers, but even those conversations were very difficult and even disruptive.
As a large ship sailing forward, we often don’t think we have much time for self-reflection. But I felt we needed to take a step back, describe our situation, and then get over it and get going. This didn’t mean sweeping our problems under the rug – we needed to talk about them and learn from them. And then we needed to move forward.
With all of our fears, uncertainties, and doubts, I felt that it was time to reshuffle the focus and start looking forward. Although as the CFO it was not necessarily my role, I decided to step up and make it ...