Financial leaders come to the fore on innovation

Senior finance professionals have moved to the centre of discussions about innovation in business, as many firms seek to enhance their portfolios with more innovative products and need someone to ensure that the right ideas are funded and executed properly.

That’s the view of a new CGMA report entitled “Managing innovation: Harnessing the power of finance”, which argues that CFOs and other finance leaders are no longer seen as putting the brakes on innovation. Instead, the report points out that management accountants – led by CFOs – are performing a crucial and growing role in driving advances at some of the world’s most innovative companies.

“In those businesses the CFO and finance team are deeply embedded in the process of innovation and have a clear framework to let new ideas take shape,” the report states.

“They partner early with other departments to identify concepts with market potential; replace rigid financial metrics with staged measurements to avoid eliminating ideas too soon; and accept that failure is a tolerable outcome for projects along the path to commercialisation.”

The report features interviews with global finance leaders at businesses including the Coca-Cola Company, Royal Dutch Shell and BT Group.

Visit the CGMA website at www.cgma.org/resources to download a copy of the report.

Photo: Gallery Stock

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