09 Feb What savvy CIOs know about CFO speak
If there’s a fundamental mistake made by CIOs in dealing with CFOs it’s going into meetings talking CIO talk—clouds, SaaS, virtualization—and not getting that the CFO may not understand and, critically, may not care at all. A CFO’s primarily workplace deliverable is not staying on top of tech trends, it’s keeping the business solvent and making sure its financial practices are in accord with Wall Street expectations and generally accepted accounting practices (GAAP).
“Don’t talk ‘new technology’ with the CFO, talk the CFO’s own language. That’s how to communicate,” said Adam Nelson, director of management and IT consulting at Keane, a San Ramon, CA-based consulting firm. The secret to all successful communication, adds Matt Eventoff, a principal with Princeton Public Speaking in New Jersey, is know your audience—and then find out how to get the person’s attention. With a CFO, talking technology is the fast track to losing his interest, but talking numbers triggers his enthusiasm. It’s really that simple, said Eventoff.
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