Monitoring Financial Health

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Creating financial acumen in your company

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Personal Insight

I went to my business school, Kellogg, and I had an investment finance professor come out. I hired him for two days, to train 150 people how to make investment decisions. It's not something you just are born with; these are skills that you can learn.

By having this professor come and teach us capital investment theory, and walk us through a couple of cases, people started to learn "Oh, that's how depreciation hits my P&L, or that's the kind of decision or assumption I have to make. I was just giving any number because I thought that's what you wanted to hear."

So we had much more integrity in our number, as a result of this training. We made better decisions, and another key learning is, the more you can train people with financial acuity, you have ambassadors throughout your company. It's marvelous to be able to talk to a real estate person or a technology person—somebody who says "I know what you're talking about, Net Present Value. Okay, I even understand the concept. Now I know why you want me be so specific in my assumptions." It's so empowering to talk the same language, and finance is the language of business.

I don't care what role you play in your company, your job is to help the company make money, and finance is the language that helps you communicate how you're going to make money for the company.

Finance is the language of business, and people need to understand what makes money for a company, irrespective of their function within it. The more that people can be trained in financial acuity, the more the organization will flourish.

Blythe McGarvie

President and Founder, Leadership International Finance

Blythe McGarvie is the President and Founder of Leadership for International Finance.

Ms. McGarvie has operated profitable business units and managed employees in business endeavors from China to France and Finland. She has been CFO of a Fortune 500 company in the US and of a leading consumer goods company in Paris.

She is the author of Fit In Stand Out, subtitled Mastering the FISO Factor: The Key to Leadership Effectiveness in Business and Life. This book has reached wide distribution in the US and outside the US, in Spanish and Russian language versions.

Since 2003, Ms. McGarvie has been President and Founder of Leadership for International Finance, a private consulting firm offering a global perspective for clients to achieve profitable growth, and providing leadership seminars for corporate and academic groups. She has extensive knowledge of consumer markets, the worldwide economy and the development of financial literacy. She currently serves on the boards of Accenture, Pepsi Bottling Group, St. Paul Travelers, and Wawa.

Prior to starting the firm, Ms. McGarvie served as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for BIC Group from 1999 to 2002.

Ms. McGarvie was recently appointed Senior Fellow for Northwestern University's Kellogg Innovation Network. Known for her relationship-building skills and mastering The FISO Factor, her thoughtful advice to CEOs, management and individuals is well respected in many industries.

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