307: The Growth Ultimatum | How When Looking Back, We See Ahead

The tribe of finance leaders commonly identified as “SaaS CFOs” is busily developing the tools and management practices destined to reshape the finance function.

Listen to the Episode Below (00:12:46)

It was not quite 100 years ago that Donaldson Brown arrived inside the offices of General Motors Corp.’s finance department.

The future GM CFO had distinguished himself years earlier by developing a return-on-investment formula for the DuPont company—soon to be GM’s largest investor—a relationship that ultimately influenced Brown’s decision to leave DuPont and spearhead the application of the concept inside GM’s operations.

Thus a concept originally developed to shed light on the operations behind the manufacture of DuPont’s blasting powder and dynamite would become a central component of the automaker, whose elevation became synonymous with the rise of the modern corporation.

Fast-forward 100 years, and while it may be difficult to classify an imprint made by any one finance leader as “Brownworthy,” it is not difficult to identify the class of finance leaders that is unquestionably having a Brownlike impact on the evolution of the finance function: It’s the tribe commonly identified as “SaaS CFOs.”

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