Jim Waddell, is an experienced, global finance leader with a broad background including expertise in corporate governance, controllership, tax and information technology. We spoke with Waddell about his decision to encourage his finance teams to take advantage of the CGMA Finance Leadership Program. Here is our conversation:
What were some of the specific attributes of the CGMA Finance Leadership Program that made it attractive to you as a senior finance leader?
We have always been a learning organization, not surprising for a company that was founded by an MIT professor who kept teaching his whole life. Dr. Bose’s greatest desire was to see people reach their fullest human potential and we do our best to live that every day. When we see programs like the CGMA that we believe our employees can benefit from, we like to let them know and encourage them to participate.
What specific challenges were you addressing by deploying the CGMA Finance Leadership Program?
The future of our finance profession will be driven by a different balance of soft and hard skills than has been typically present historically. The balance is shifting toward softer skills. We know that your organization also sees this and has designed the CGMA Finance Leadership Program to provide a framework that acknowledges this balance. While there are many programs to emphasize softer skills, the CGMA Finance Leadership Program provides a more natural harmony of our historical hard skills and these soft skills than what we have seen elsewhere.
How does the CGMA Finance Leadership Program address the significant transformation required in the future skill sets of the finance professional?
I believe that the rigor of the CGMA Finance Leadership Program being similar to the CPA and Chartered Accountant designation will, in the long run, be a distinguishing factor for this designation, providing those who hold it a competitive edge. While the time and commitment needed to obtain the designation are quite substantial, we believe this is a key factor in what makes the CGMA designation distinguishing.
What are some of the measures of success, both tangible and intangible, that you are expecting to see from the CGMA Finance Leadership Program?
Our goal is for our financial leaders to be trusted advisers to our business leaders to help them navigate the future. As we all know, the business world is changing rapidly and many business models are either being disrupted or disrupting others. The ability to better understand the future and even shape it requires our financial leaders to see a broad set of possibilities and help our business leaders plan a successful future. This requires a good balance of soft and hard skills applied to a changing market. We would generally measure success by determining if we are accomplishing our strategy and goals, which for us are growth and market share along with financial viability.