As the economy begins to wake up, how do you begin to rethink your business model?  What are the crucial steps you’ll need to take in order to move forward?  Jack McCullough, the President of the CFO Leadership Council recently caught up with Certent CEO Jorge Martin who shared his first-hand experience and offered expert advice on navigating the next normal.

Jorge Martin, CEO, Certent, Inc.

“We want our employees productive and engaged, and in this environment, that means we practice flexibility in everything we do.”
Jorge Martin, CEO, Certent 

Transparent, Frequent Communications

As CEO, you want to show confidence and optimism, but at the same time you have to acknowledge the challenges you face as an organization.   How do you walk that tightrope?

Thoughtful transparency has been paramount in our organization.  This doesn’t change when things get difficult.  As leaders we need to clear the path for our teams to produce and part of that is a balanced approach of honesty and thoughtfulness with measured realism.

Take Care of the Team

With 300 employees, you have diverse mix of challenges with your team.  What are the most common and what are the most unexpected?

Many of our employees are also parents and this group has been hit with an extraordinary task: Care taker, (math, art, gym…) teacher, meal maker, therapist, entertainer and none of the aforementioned “jobs” are the full-time job that our employees hold Monday-Friday.  From the beginning of this new environment, we have attempted to relieve our team members of the stress that results from attempting to separate these two worlds and have made Certent family friendly.

Is Certent doing anything in particular to accommodate the changes employees face?

Our managers and leaders have been empowered to look at each unique situation and solve with a mind towards being understanding and thoughtful.  The safety and health of our employees is our priority, while the health of the organization is a close second.  We want our employees productive and engaged, and in this environment, that means we practice flexibility in everything we do.   

Show Strength

Three months ago, hiring and retention were the greatest challenges in the tech community.  Suddenly, there are more unemployed people than ever in our history.  Is this an opportunity for Certent to grow its team?  Or are you focused on the current employees?

With the consistent ebb and flow to recruitment, we have a keen eye on shifts in the talent market and pounce on opportunities that align with our business needs.  Certent has several open positions and we see strong talent out there.  It’s a win/win- new and diverse talent injected into our business and being part of the solution to getting our people back to work.

Rethink Your Business Model

Many employees have suddenly discovered that they like WFH and would like to continue to do so.  This is likely to create some challenges from both a cultural and efficiency standpoint.  Have you given that much thought?   Did you have a WFH option for employees anyway?

Certent has thrived with almost 50% of our US staff working remotely.  Collaboration is important and our employees want to collaborate in-person, so in some areas, where we have larger remote contingents, we have established short-term office rentals to fulfill those needs.  Since entering our COVID WFH environments, this has changed, so we have highly encouraged all team members to use video during their calls.  Video cannot replace being in the same room, but it does fulfill the ‘visual’ need of communication.  When offices begin to open again, our employees will experience a more fluid work environment, in which we establish safety protocols to keep our team members healthy and safe, but allow our responsible and empowered employee population to make the choice of how and where they will be most productive.

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Continue this discussion!  Jorge Martin & Jack McCullough will give an in-depth interview on our live webcast “Recover, Return, Restart: Next Steps to Elevate Your Business” Thurs June 25th @ 12pmET/11amCT/9amPT.  Reserve your front row seat!   1 CPE provided.

Taking Points:

  • Transparent, Frequent Communications
  • Take Care of the Team
  • Develop a Liquidity Plan
  • Take Care of Yourself
  • Scenario Planning
  • Show Strength
  • Rethink Your Business Model

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Rockstar CFOs In Times Of Crisis, Jack McCullough’s latest for Forbes CFO Network

Employee Engagement and Training of Accounting Teams during COVID-19

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About Certent

Certent, Inc., founded in 2002, helps customers elevate their business with smart, intuitive solutions for modern finance. Our advanced solutions for equity management, disclosure management, and narrative reporting help business and finance leaders improve accuracy, save time, and get more done. Redefine your approach to governance, risk, and compliance with Certent. The company operates in seven countries and serves over 2,400 public, private, and pre-IPO companies around the world.

About The CFO Leadership Council

The CFO Leadership Council offers both live & online programs that feature expert panels and interactive sessions that drive meaningful conversation and leadership development among our membership. Our collection of leadership development resources similar to this article contain pragmatic insights and advice sourced directly from our members and industry experts.  Recordings of CFOLC webcasts are made available to our current CFOLC Premium & Virtual members. To learn about membership options, visit www.cfolc.com.

Want to Continue the Conversation?

We’d love to hear from you. Post a comment about your experiences or provide feedback below to continue the discussion about how creative leadership in the current climate.  Or contact Kristin Todd, Vice President of Marketing, kristin@cfolc.com.

 

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