Photo of Vena CFO Darrell Cox and 5 icons representing his 5 agile principles.

5 Principles of the Agile CFO

July 5, 2021 Tanya Goncalves  
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According to our CFO Darrell Cox, in order to be a great CFO, you need to be action oriented and growth minded—proactively looking for insights and leading the change by driving forward-looking business motions. In this blog, we highlight Darrell’s Evolution of the Strategic CFO and his five key principles on being an agile CFO for your business. 

Being an Agile and Strategic CFO

According to Darrell, being an agile CFO means maximizing your organization's success by mitigating risk during down times. As most organizations experienced during the pandemic, it’s important to have a plan, but as Darrell highlights, the ability to move quickly and make a change if the plan doesn’t benefit the business is important.

“Your plan is going to be wrong one way or another as you introduce risk. Agile planning is operationalized across the business to achieve short-term goals and longer-term outcomes. It's not just a budget, it's a process. It enables the company to move and maneuver to make changes around them.”

In case you missed Darrell’s talk at Vena Nation week, he highlights his 5 principles of the agile CFO, which takes a lot of influence from his original 7 Principles of the Agile CFO. His 5 principles represent a shorter methodology for agility. The principles leverage the term “agile” as an acronym that describes the different steps of becoming an agile CFO, which are reflected below:

Act and drive action Make an impact Grow and think big Learn and improve Iterate and plan forward Own change Leverage technology Amplify your impact Engage, align and enable Be human, be a storyteller

The 5 Principles of the Agile CFO:

1. Act and drive action. The “a” in agility represents acting quickly and driving action. It means having a positive impact as a leader and always thinking about how and when you say or do something with your team so that you achieve your desired result.

2. Grow and think big. The “g” represents growing and thinking big. Darrell highlights that when you think about setting something up or analyzing something, ask yourself, are you learning from it? 

3. Iterate and plan forward. The “i” represents continuous iteration and planning ahead. As Darrell points out, a CFO does not focus on one single budget, but many small connected plans that lead to an ultimate objective.

4. Leverage technology. The “l” represents leveraging technologies that assist in the day to day. Technology can really enable leaders to amplify their impact.

5. Engage, align and enable. The “e” represents engaging, aligning and enabling teams. Darrell points out that it’s important to engage your audience so that they become aligned and are enabled to achieve and be the best that they can be. It’s also important to be approachable and human in our role. It means being a great storyteller in order to get your team working together and moving forward as one team.

Be the Best Agile Leader That You Can Be

As Darrell put’s it, being the best agile leader that you can be means thinking big and not just focusing on the details. A strategic and agile leader needs to be finding clues in the details about how to drive a great business. As business and operations professionals it’s important to be agile and proactively looking for insights and changes, so that you can continue to drive your business forward.

Be A Better Agile Leader
Learn More on Plan To Grow

Learn the 5 Principles of The Agile CFO by watching Darrell’s talk The Evolution of the Strategic CFO.

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