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Think like an owner to drive results, experts say

Tuesday, June 13, 2017  
Posted by: Rufino Cabang
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“Every decision you make today has a financial impact,” Valerie Conard, senior director, pricing and promotional strategy at Target, told NEW members during “Driving Financial Results: Finance for Non-Financial Managers,” this year’s third NEW Leadership Academy webinar, June 8.

Conard and Karin Gloistein, vice president, finance, personal care at Unilever, shared strategies for cultivating a greater comfort level with finance. Program facilitator Jo Miller of Women’s Leadership Coaching moderated the discussion.

“It’s important to take an owner’s mindset,” Gloistein said. “What would you do if it was your business or the money was coming out of your bank?”

 “Start small,” Conard added. “There are a lot of financial concepts. Don’t let those push you from understanding finance.”

The industry experts offered this advice:

Go online. “Don’t know a term? Check out or Google it,” Conard said.

Step back for a better look. “Look what can go wrong in the plan you have built,” Gloistein said.

Know your place. “Understand where you have impact on the P&L, and what those metrics are,” Conard said.

Think about others. Assessing key competitors and customers can improve financial understanding, Gloistein said. “What are they saying? What is happening to them? What is the impact to us?”

Do a variance analysis. “Compare what you expected to happen versus what did happen,” Conard recommended.

Use your head. “Take the emotional attachment to a project away,” Gloistein said.

NEW learning webinars are free to NEW members. Register for the next NEW Leadership Academy webinar, “Attract the Attention of Influential Sponsors,” August 10 at 1 p.m. ET.

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