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Before reading, please note that I have not made any reference to this week’s reading as I want to take advantage of this week’s reviewer structure of ‘reviewing someone in the same functional area’. I have followed Daudelin’s stages of reflection so hopefully, I can get some constructive feedback from the reviewer. Thank you in advance.

This week has been the most difficult week for me as CFO. There is a discrepancy between the effort I put in to the work and the results that occur because of it. There is no doubt in my mind that I am doing all I can to execute the duties of my role properly, i.e. preparing relevant financial information to communicate back to the team, etc. However, our MikesBikes SHV result is going in the wrong direction (down) and I cannot help but feel that part of the issue is how we are managing our finances. The problem I have identified is that I may not be doing my job properly because a lack of understanding.

The doubt I am experiencing is from a build-up of events that goes back to the first week of MGMT300. In my CV, CFO was not marked as a preferred role so already, I felt disadvantaged because I was willing and prepared to take on the roles I had asked for but was given something else. Apparently, this was the case for some of the other members of my group too but I knew that in the “extra-terrestrial world” (referred to in my first journal entry) we sometimes do not get to choose what roles we get. Nonetheless, I accepted the role and researched the responsibilities of a CFO, i.e. analysing financial documents and identifying profitable areas for the business.

This relates to past events that go even further back to my high school years. I was an accounting/finance student and understanding statements and causes of different financial situations was not my strong suit. As frustrating as this was, I chose to persist with the thought that accounting/finance kept my university options open. I started university and I did my best to dodge accounting but ironically enough, in the first year there was ACCTG101 and now in MGMT300, I am responsible for similar concepts in accounting/finance. To try and solve these uncertainties in future, I will ask the following questions and hopefully gain something useful from asking.

 Questions I will investigate include:

1.       What is the underlying problem? (i.e. is it the CFO causing the SHV to decrease?)

2.       How can I improve?

Questions for the reviewer: (optional)

1.       Are you confident in your role?

2.       How have you dealt with uncertainties?’ 

Now that the doubt from past experiences has finally caught up with me, it is time to face the facts! The tentative theory that I have created is that because of the somewhat adverse experience I have had with finance/accounting, I find it difficult to understand certain components of the role. It is important for me to note that in the process of it all, my levels of motivation have withstood the doubt and I have taken on the challenge. I have continued to do the same weekend preparation for the role so perhaps it is time to change up the routine? I want to improve and contribute to the team best I can so the actions I will take are simple: (1) ask for help; (2) discuss my concerns with the CEO and (3) do more research.

Growth is my goal!

References 

Daudelin, M. W. (1996). Learning from experience through reflection. Organizational Dynamics, 24(3), 36--48

 

2 Comments

  1. Hi Maaola!

    I'll review your journal first and then answer the questions after:

    Your journal was very easy to read, and every thought was well explained. I think in terms of following Daudelin's structure, you explain your problem very clearly (your struggle with the effectiveness of your CFO duties). However, I think you could have a more in-depth reflection of how your past experience with finance/accounting is influencing your current situation - i.e. how is that stopping you from learning now about the finance/accounting side that you need? Is it that you think you've reached your limits in terms of that type of knowledge? Is it that starting is hard because you remember all the negatives from before and that puts you off? I think that pinpointing the exact source of the problem would be helpful to coming to your proposed solutions. Regarding your actions, I like that they're very do-able which means it's more likely they will be carried out. However, it does sound like you kind of have been doing this already - is there something new that you need to do that puts this new learning into action?

    Overall, I felt that you've covered all the stages of the reflection process, and it was easy to see that (big grin)

    Questions for me (reviewer):

    1) Am I confident in my role? Sometimes. I am majoring in Finance (although have only done 1 paper), so I'm used to reading reports and dealing with numbers, and CFO was my second choice. I'm also fortunate enough (arguably?) to be working in a team that makes all decisions together. So while I might go ahead and do detailed research into "my area" and other team members will do for theirs, we actually do all the decisions in the meetings. Team members might present recommendations, but they're all discussed, so I feel like I'm not just doing the CFO side of things - I also have input into what prices the bikes are, how many to sell, etc.

    2) How have I dealt with uncertainties? I research and find patterns. There are actually a lot of tools at our disposal; we have SoloMike and we have the practice rollovers (I saved offline versions of these on to my computer). In terms of CFO material, our company hasn't touched a lot of the options (e.g. issuing debt/shares) so this makes it simpler for me. For me, rolling back and forward and changing variables and then recording these changes helps me see patterns and predict what the program/MikesBikes will do. There are spreadsheets available, but I've found those confusing and just started using my own. Of course, we can't research everything - some of it is just going to be an educated guess, or a trade-off.

    Hope this is helpful and answers your questions!

    I know that it's probably easier for me than for a lot of the CFOs as I do have an accounting/finance background and engineering helps me with the number side of things. If you'd like more help feel free to contact me (smile) slow175@...

  2. I enjoyed your learning journal and found it to be clear and and easy to read. You seemed to adhere to Daudelin's structure nicely covering all the stages by outlining your problem well and analysing it, relating your past experiences, however I wasn't completely sure of the final stage and how you will act in future.

    In regards to your questions, I was one of the people who did not pick to be CFO and was put into it. So I wasn't very comfortable in my role to begin with. However after playing around with the simulation I saw that in my team we never really touched equity in terms of issuing/repurchasing shares, dividends etc. so all I had to worry about was worry about the numbers which are all found in the reports. So I felt much more comfortable after a while. It did take a while to figure out how everything connects. But it does take a lot of work to sift through all the reports.

    Uncertainties well that is something that I have found you cannot fully prepare for, however learning through each rollovers decisions and the impacts it had as well as looking at other firms performance and decisions in order to find trends and patterns to help predict better in the future is a good way to go about it.

    Well done!