Is Dealing with Finance the Equivalent of Taking Bad-Tasting Medicine?

By Rich Bond

Over the course of 11 years, I was lucky enough to work for Seagram in seven different jobs, including an overseas assignment in Japan. When I joined the company, the industry was wild and woolly, and many people had the mentality of “bootleggers,” which is where many of the original industry employees had come from after the repeal of Prohibition.

Sales dominated the industry, and finance was demeaned and disrespected.  Industry profitability was not very good.

But over time, the finance group at Seagram came to be valued as a strategic partner to senior management. The company prospered.  After I left Seagram, the company was sold for more than four times what it was worth when I joined.

My question to you is: Do you think of dealing with the finances of your company as being a unpleasant exercise, somewhat like taking bad-tasting medicine? Or do you see finance, when “done right,” as a necessary tool for your business to not only survive – but thrive?

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