Isaac Gindi, Chief Financial Officer for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, discussed what it takes to be a “tech-minded CFO” during his presentation at the 2014 Chief Financial Officer Leadership Forum in Los Angeles on Oct. 22. According to Gindi, one size fits all cannot meet the needs of everyone, and CFOs who recognize the value of technology can find innovative ways to connect with their target audiences.
Gindi pointed out an organization that invests in its culture can find better ways to listen to its customers. It’s important for an organization to experiment, Gindi added, as this allows an organization to brainstorm and test ways to ensure its customers get the support they need and improve its culture: “We have to really listen to the customers and know what their needs are rather than forcing a solution on them. In terms of innovation we have to be willing to take some risks. We have to be willing to experiment. Pilot is really the key here. Work with the business; get the business champion to work with you on a pilot.”
CFOs, however, must understand how to explain the value of experimentation to their superiors, Gindi said. Innovation is vital, Gindi noted, and social media also can help an organization better connect with its target audience: “Social media is another area where a lot of the older generation didn’t grow up with and the new generation does. We look at it mostly as a newer generation thing, but it’s quite effective and it’s really being forced on us by the constituents.”