NO ORGANIZATION CAN thrive in a vacuum. Yet at many companies, the nance organization is asked to do just that. Despite the importance of the nance role and its unrivaled view of the enterprise, it is often seen by business leaders as a gatekeeper, headed by an executive derisively dubbed the “CF No.” Hamstrung by their siloed processes and nance-centric view of the world, CF Nos steer their companies to suboptimal performance because companies perform best when nance operates not as a gatekeeper but as a true business partner—a strategic adviser, an identifier of opportunities, a facilitator in seizing and capitalizing on those opportunities. Without that partnership, companies evolving and competing in an ever-changing marketplace are almost certainly destined to fall short.
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