Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

The podcast featuring finance leaders driving change within their organizations.

Dec 19, 2021

When CFO Scott Walker has considered new career opportunities in the past, only a small subset of growth businesses have been able to meet all of his desired criteria.

Very often the firms had achieved product market fit and successfully raised a number of rounds of funding, but to Walker they were just still too young. Perhaps the management was being reshuffled or the operations were too fragmented, and it would become clear to Walker that the company was not yet ready to find its “cadence.”

This would be of no little import, as helping companies to find their cadence is what Scott Walker does best, or so he explains as he reflects back on the different career choices on his path to becoming an “operational CFO.”     

Says Walker: “My sweet spot is stepping into a business that’s doing well but has to professionalize. It has to grow up. It has to mature. It has to add discipline and build rigor in how it gets things done. This ultimately focuses on execution through decision-making on logic and data and facts.”

According to Walker, a business might be able to swiftly close its books and review its balance sheet with regularity, but very often the firm is not yet advancing “in step” as one organization.

“I put a healthy tension on the business to make sure that people are showing up every month, and there is a monthly operating review at which people talk about the fundamental underlying performance of the business,” explains Walker, who believes that the regularity with which people talk about performance helps to inform how decisions are made across an organization and how things ultimately get done in a business.

Last May, when Walker stepped into the CFO office of Clarity Software Solutions, Inc., he was confident that he had found an excellent match for what he does best. Still, his first 100 days were not without a few challenges.

“I couldn’t find the cadence in my first couple of months, so the CEO and I sat down and I told him, ‘I need to build a cadence here,'” remarks Walker, who adds that his arrival at the software developer occurred at a unique place in time on the company’s path to maturity.

Says Clarity’s CFO: “This is a very important time for me as an operational CFO—it’s when I can really help a company.” –Jack Sweeney