CO - Finnovation

Building a personal set of values - the 6 I's

Building a personal set of values - the 6 I's

Becoming a successful CFO requires persistence, hard work, technical skills, and people and management skills. Beyond this, Venkat believes that CFOs need an ideology that require them to look at their overall contribution to the company and the formulation and execution of the long-term vision. For him, this ideology comes in the form of what he calls his “6 I’s principle”, which outline the steps proactive individuals can take to make a difference in their organisations/personal life: The first I is “insight”. In order to challenge and change the status quo, aspiring business leaders have to have insights and knowledge that they can share. There is plenty of information but what is missing is “Insight”. “We are unable to challenge and question the status quo if we do not have this.” Therefore, successful CFOs must first learn and understand the company, its value drivers, strengths and weaknesses, and the opportunities available to become better. The second I is “influence”, by which Venkat means the ability to have persuasion over the main stakeholders holding the keys to change. This might be through proposing a new organisational structure or putting forward a new method to streamline key business processes.

The third I is “impact”. “Through influencing, ultimately, we hope to make an impact on the organisation and people.” Once you get the go-ahead, you need evidence to show that your ideas are working. Perhaps, the company is saving time or energy, or perhaps the team members are happier and see efficiency in their work. The fourth and fifth I’s are inspire and involve. “Making an impact is not enough – I always believe that we should inspire someone to take action and therefore involve them further in their participation.” Often at times, many people are happy to stop and pat themselves on the back for making an impact. But just one person’s insights is not enough to make a long-term change.

Other people have to see the value of your ideas, feel energetic about being a part of it, and thus involve themselves. The final I is institutionalise. “It’s all about institutionalising changes.” This can come in various ways, but it’s important to find a way to make the changes an integral part of the organisation. In this way, it does not fade and the momentum is not lost.

  • Srinivasan Venkita Padmanabhan
    Srinivasan Venkita Padmanabhan
    President Global finance, Olam International

    Srinivasan Venkita Padmanabhan (known as Venkat) is the President of Olam International Limited & Global Head - Finance. He is a senior member of Finance Executive Committee, Finance talent Management committee and member of Operational committee, of Olam.

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