#026: #HappyFinance and becoming Strategic Business Partners Part 2

with Marco Venturelli

Our Guest Mentor:

Marco Venturelli  has over 35 years of experience in finance and accounting and currently leads Performance and Financial Strategy at Novartis where he is CFO of the Oncology Europe Region, as well as being on the CFO Board of Directors (CFO Consigliere di Amministrazione).

Marco’s career has seen him hold various roles such as Country General Manager, undertaken international assignments and led global teams. He’s also regularly commenting and contributing on LinkedIn particularly with the handles #HappyFinance and #theHappyCFO.

Marco is currently based out of Milan, Italy and also volunteers with Action Aid, looking to alleviate poverty with a constant flow of support to different programs in Africa and India.

Key Quotes From the Episode:

 “[Key strategic insight from being a General Manager] because in a business role you really understand what it means taking the customer into consideration.” [05:04]

“Always try to work with great people this is very important, select if possible, select or influence, or go with a good boss but also with a good team with good players don’t be afraid of having strong peers, don’t be afraid of having internal competition because it’s much better to play with a strong team that to be the strongest in a medium team, so it’s better to be the weakest in a strong team ” [08:42]

“Enjoy the game, so enjoy what you do we are all professionals, we are really well prepared so we have to enjoy our daily activities, our meetings, what we do, because it allows us to be more relaxed and appreciate more what you are doing.” [09:43]

“I also learned that whatever is the analysis you have to explain it in a way that it’s really understood by the other party.” [11:15]

“If you challenge your colleagues and the thinking of your colleagues in the right way in order to influence them then they will recognise the value of the interaction with finance.” [11:53]

(Other resources and how to connect with Marco below).

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Key Points From the Episode:

  • Shares the best two bits of advice that have helped him most in his career.
  • A simple tip to increase the perceived value you add to your colleagues.
  • Why we shouldn’t view influencing so negatively in finance & accounting.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

[02:29] – What Marco has gained from his non-finance roles.

[05:39] – How his first international assignment helped him in his career.

[08:40] – The two best bits of advice he’s ever received.

[10:30] – Why we shouldn’t look at the word influencing so negatively.

[11:20] – The book Marco recommends that he’s shared with colleagues.

[13:20] – How to increase your colleagues perceived value of interacting with you.

[14:09] – What Marco is focussing on for the next 12 months.

[15:27] – Why people prefer sometimes to listen to the CFO rather than the CEO.

Resources Mentioned:

  • “The Happy CFO: How Finance helps Society,” by Marco Venturelli, 2017 (article)
  • Measuring the impact of Impact Investing (link)
  • The Business Value of impact measurement (link)
  • Survey on CEOs expecting more from their CFOs (link)
  • McKinsey report on where CFOs spending their time (link)
  • “The Imperial CFO, ”Economist article on the influence of the CFO (link)
  • The Audacious Finance Partner: Reveals The Key Factors and Skills for Business Partnering Success, by Andrew Codd
  • Give and Take: A Revolutionary Approach to Success (2013), by Adam Grant

Connect with today’s guest:

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