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Press Release

Vena Nation Wrap-Up: Integrated Planning

May 13, 2020 |

As Vena Nation rolls on, we’re continuing to bring you the key learnings and takeaways from each day’s sessions. The theme for Day 2 was integrated planning—connecting people and data (financial and non-financial) for a completely collaborative approach to finance-led business planning. 

The morning kicked off with a captivating keynote from Jack McCullough, president of the CFO Leadership Council and author of Secrets of Rockstar CFOs. Jack shared his nine primary traits of “rockstar CFOs,” highlighting the fact that they’re great cross-functional collaborators. Registrants also had a chance to learn best practices for integrated planning from their peers, industry experts and leading finance executives.

The day wrapped up with two very insightful training sessions, where Vena customers discovered the technical features that enable agile, integrated planning processes across every function of the business. All in all, it made for a day chock-full of integrated planning insights. 

Here are the top takeaways from Day 2 at Vena Nation:

Rockstar CFOs are strategic, ethical, forward-thinking leaders who work well cross-functionally

With the right skills, the right attitude and the right people around them, all finance leaders have the potential to achieve “rockstar CFO” status and lead their companies toward a successful, profitable future.

That was the lesson from Jack McCullough’s Vena Nation keynote, Secrets of Rockstar CFOs (which is also the title of his book.) Viewers were treated to a highly personable session, as Jack drew from his conversations with dozens of CFOs and his own experiences as CFO for 26 different companies to shape a compelling narrative for the audience, including a number of key takeaways.

According to Jack, rockstar CFOs share nine secrets to success—they’re all strategic thinkers, ethical leaders, master dealmakers, elite team builders, lifelong learners, relationship builders, cross-functional performers and seasoned finance experts who always maintain a work-life balance. And as key strategic partners to the business, rockstar CFOs are champions of integrated, finance-led business planning.

But getting to that level doesn’t happen overnight. In order to achieve rockstar status, CFOs need to constantly look ahead, learn from each other, maintain a strict ethical code and surround themselves with great talent. It’s easier said than done, but it’s achievable.

Integrated planning is a team effort, but it starts with finance and operations

The importance of integrated planning—involving all cross-functional stakeholders in the business planning process—was the day’s primary focus.

After his keynote, Jack McCullough joined Wealthsimple CFO Leen Li and Vena CFO Darrell Cox for a panel discussion hosted by Vena COO Tina Goulbourne. Viewers learned that integrated planning requires collaboration and transparency between finance and operations teams, which is much easier if you have a single source of truth for all core finance and operational planning processes. With easy access to reliable, up-to-date data from every function of the company, finance and operations professionals can focus on the big picture and more easily communicate that plan across the organization. 

Culture is also an important driver of integrated planning, which Vena CCO Debbie Lillitos and CTO George Papayiannis discussed at length during their keynote together. In order to implement effective integrated planning processes, company culture needs to be rooted in teamwork, innovation and mutual trust between departments.

For some real-world examples of integrated planning in action, viewers heard from a number of current Vena customers who talked about how integrated planning has enabled a more accurate, agile and improvement-driven outlook at their organizations. It’s clear that integrated planning allows businesses to plan for today and tomorrow more confidently.

Vena supports integrated planning with advanced data transformations

During the day’s training sessions, our customers learned how to use Vena’s channel mappings functionality to aggregate cross-functional data and present it in their desired format. This is an important feature for integrated planning, because it allows users to define the relationships between unique data sources and present that data in an easily digestible format for managers and other non-finance stakeholders. 

Viewers were given a refresher on key features such as cube-to-cube transformations, template automation and driver-based planning. Keep in mind that these functions are made possible thanks to Vena’s seamless integration capabilities with all existing source systems, which is one of our platform’s most celebrated features.

To view all Vena Nation sessions live and on demand, head on over to plantogrow.com and register now for your free All Access pass.

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