At Attivo Partners, we are committed to the development of financial professionals in the venture-backed community. We created the Center of Excellence for Emerging Growth CFOs as a series of workshops to provide a way to accelerate skill development and galvanize a community of leading financial professionals.
Our first Center of Excellence, a series of three workshops, was held in October and focused on communications strategies to enhance business effectiveness. We were led by leading communications researcher Dr. Jeanine Turner, professor at Georgetown University in the Communication, Culture, and Technology Program and at the McDonough School of Business.
Managing effective digital meetings
Our first workshop focused on “Managing Meetings in a Digitally Distracted Environment”, which found added relevance in the COVID-19 era of remote work. Dr. Turner pointed out that in a digital environment, the audience has control since they can choose to engage or turn their attention to another device sitting on their desk. We reviewed strategies and methods for delivering our message and preserving our in-person time for the topics that require the most interaction and collaboration. Ultimately, by altering the structure and timing of our meetings we can more effectively connect, engage, and become accountable to one another while reducing Zoom exhaustion.
Our second workshop focused on strategies for “Communicating the Company’s Value — Improving Your Persuasion”. During this session, we worked through frameworks for developing a message quickly and effectively. Our first exercise was to use a structured method to develop a 30-second Organization Core Statement. While the structure identified all the elements of our statement, choosing the most meaningful words for a brief statement is a challenge. We also worked through a framework for developing a presentation in 30 minutes or less. By narrowing our topic to one theme and considering the needs of our audience (i.e. “What should they remember?”, “What should they do?”, and “Why should they do it?”) we can eliminate our extraneous knowledge and deliver a clear and concise message.
Navigating conflict styles
Our third workshop focused on strategies for “Understanding Conflict Styles in our Conversations”. The first step is being aware of your own conflict style and we each took an assessment to identify our preferred approach to conflict. The next step is to perceive and how your conflict style may affect the behavior of others. By recognizing that each person has different approaches to conflict we can reframe our conversations to encourage participation by all our team members enabling a wider variety of ideas and viewpoints and enabling us to get to the best solutions possible.
Our purpose in creating this Center of Excellence is not only for skill development but also for creating a forum for idea exchange and community building. The skillsets an emerging growth CFO possess are a unique balance of strategy and operations. And our aim, within this community, is to share knowledge and best practices for value creation. We look forward to continuing our support of the emerging growth CFO community through Attivo’s Center of Excellence.
Attivo is a full-service consulting CFO and accounting firm that supports venture-backed emerging growth companies. At Attivo Partners, we like to engage with clients at the earliest stages and implement the financial systems and processes that enable you to make informed decisions and set the groundwork for your company to scale. We believe our core values of placing our clients first, building long-term relationships that create value, encouraging continuous learning, and emphasizing collaboration among ourselves and our community leads to a higher quality of service for our clients.