In classic Bostonian style, organizers of the 10th Annual MIT Sloan CFO Summit kicked off the event by telling the audience, “A lot of wicked smart people are here today.” The more than 600 chief financial officers and financial professionals who gathered at the Newton, Mass., conference enjoyed the compliment and eagerly engaged with the speakers they had travelled from around the world to hear.
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Nick Fanandakis, who took part in the event’s lively panel discussion on sustaining business excellence, was joined on stage by the CFOs of Hasbro, NextEra Energy and Sysco. Carol Masser, co-host of Bloomberg TV’s daily business program Street Smart, served as the panel moderator.
During the panel discussion, the audience was treated to an energetic exchange of the views of the CFOs on achieving sustained excellence in the areas of leadership, empowerment and planning. The group’s discussion focused on the rapidly changing role of CFOs as business strategists who increasingly have responsibility for fostering company cultures that provide clear communications and encourage employees to take calculated risks.
“It comes down to the people you lead and how you lead them,” Nick told the group. “Employees who can challenge the status quo and bring fresh perspectives help companies grow and transform. That’s how organizations stay relevant.
“It’s the role of leaders to guide employees and help them understand what they can do to impact an organization’s success,” he said.
While in Boston, Nick also gave a presentation at the Morgan Stanley Global Chemicals Conference, where he provided investors and analysts an overview of DuPont. In his remarks, Nick shared the company’s long-term plans for growth and his perspective on recent company events.