“Be brave, be focused, be curious”
We are still in challenging times.
We navigated the first 12 months of the pandemic with surprising agility, business-wise, but the second order impacts are proving to be tricky challenges in their own right, not least;
- Supply chain disruptions
- Rising raw material, commodity and transport prices
- Swift rise in energy prices
- Rising inflation
- Cash flow pressures across sectors
I just touched down in London, returning from Prague and an experience and insight sharing session, IN REAL LIFE, with leaders in GBS, financial processes, credit, Order to Cash, Invoice to Cash, digital and data.
It felt not so much a conference as a community, a gathering of professionals with a practical passion for business excellence. I met some inspiring people who demonstrated what human, personal leadership is.
Gabor Meszaros from Sanofi gave a heartfelt, personal autobiography of his struggles, commitment and “eureka moments” in learning to be a leader, and maybe even a “Wolf of Credit” . . .
Milan Benes, GBS leader at LEGO shared a wonderful story of “Triumph through Adversity” and more importantly, demonstrated the human side of leadership as he stood back from the stage and applauded every member of his team as they received a collective award for their performance. The warmth of their applause for him was also very telling.
Paolo di Stefano, also of LEGO radiated energy, enthusiasm and warmth as he talked about how he uses his credit expertise together with data to help the business units stay ahead of cash-flow challenges, enabling early decisions to optimize revenue and cash.
Brett Keen and Zaneta Hlinkova of Medtronic shared their odyssey of courage, empathy and communication through their business process outsourcing transition.
We had a wonderful panel discussion on “The Spirit of Rugby in business” with the special humility you can see in sporting leaders at the top of their game. Daniel Benes and Martin Kafka demonstrated the values they described so viscerally, in their demeanor. It gave me a lot to think about.
Not least, the spirit of team sports demonstrates that life and business is not just about “winning” but about the collective pain and struggle on the road to success.
We need to lose together sometimes to develop the selfless bond to win together.
I do not have time here to call out all the great leaders in their field that I met over the last two days, but this was a humbling lesson in leadership, communication,. collaboration, commitment, humility, respect, trust, teamwork, diversity, determination, and trust.
It turns out that these are the values inherent in the spirit of rugby.
We can surely learn from that.
In the midst of this new found awareness, we also realized that YES, credit matters. Of course it matters in the revenue cycle (order to cash), but also across all processes in the business.
It is appropriate then, that this event was the tenth anniversary “Credit Matters” conference, and I expect to see future events from them in a city near you in the coming months and years!
You can see the program, and hopefully some of the recorded proceedings soon, here . .
Thanks for reading.