This week the Royal College of Physicians in London played host to the latest FD Surgery event, the only event series for entrepreneurial finance directors. Entrepreneurial FDs, and those in small businesses, are often juggling more than one role at once, and may well play a key role in directing strategy – but whatever their day-to-day roles look like, one thing they have in common is that they are certainly ambitious, profit-oriented and hungry for growth. The FD surgery was designed to address the issues these growing businesses may experience, and the line-up of speakers featured experienced FDs, as well as experts in a variety of other associated fields, such as GDPR, the future of sales and marketing, cash flow forecasting, and managing cyber risk. Chas Howes, the former CFO of Super Dry kicked things off with a very candid discussion of what can, and did, go wrong. Spoiler alert – Howes ended up getting fired. But his talk offered some great teaching moments for FDs to learn from. This talk will be covered in greater detail on Real Business next week – so keep an eye out! FD Surgery featured panel discussions, round tables and fireside chats, dissecting topics ranging from how technology can optimise the ever changing role of the growth-minded entrepreneurial FD, to how FDs can role model authentic leadership to get the most out of their teams. Recurring themes of the day included how automation and artificial intelligence might change FD roles in the future, and, perhaps surprisingly, communication, creativity and company culture. One of the highlights of the day was the “Have your say” interactive voting session, which revealed what FDs really think on a number of important topics – from Brexit to business wish lists. It made for some surprising results, which we will be releasing later this month. Don’t worry if you’re kicking yourself for missing out, there’s still time to sign up for the next FD Surgery. The FD Surgery Manchester will take place on November 1, 2018. You can register your interest, or sponsor the event, here.
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