Since taking over the reins as CEO of Deloitte Australia, Cindy Hook has led an organisation which is growing a couple of percentage points ahead of its major rivals which is testament to both strategy and execution.
She believes that there are five keys to achieving and sustaining that sort of momentum that should resonate both for captains of industry, and leaders of the finance function.
Speaking at a recent FEI event in Sydney, Hook said that success demands organisations are purpose led, customer focused, globally minded and develop both a bold strategy and inspiring culture.
Organisations need to put purpose beyond profit. Standard & Poor’s 500 companies which are purpose led outperformed rivals ten-fold said Hook. However she stressed that success demanded that every individual in the company understood the enterprise purpose and felt empowered to work towards it.
That she said applied equally to finance teams. "Sometimes finance teams think 'I am back office’ - but this has got to be translated to every person in the organisation," including finance, said Hook.
True leaders need to balance between the need to deliver results today while investing to transform the business to make sure it's future-ready said Hook as "business as usual" strategies are unlikely to succeed long term. At Deloitte this had required the organisation to codify, standardise and automate what it could, and then to create new value streams not tied to existing business operations.
She recommended that chief strategy officers and chief financial officers work more closely together, creating a framework that measured enterprise success in delivering against strategy.