We launch into the new year by launching into the next section of our SPARK AgencyOps framework — R for Results.

Once you reach a certain size you'll hire a finance manager, then eventually a finance director/CFO.

You'll hire them because of their analytical skillset, attention to detail, and (in the case of a CFO) their strategic thinking.

But then you only get them to look after the money.

In an agency they could be using their skills for so much more, taking a broader leadership role.

If you would only set them free from just being 'finance'.

In my SPARK AgencyOps framework I advocate for them leading on the agency's Results.

That means all the different results the agency has identified it wants to achieve:

  • sales targets
  • margins
  • returns to owners
  • cash reserves
  • the kind of place it is to work
  • the projects it wins
  • the reputation it earns
  • the development of the team
  • the environmental impact
  • ...and so on.

Your FD can use their skills and mode of thinking to help the whole team develop ways of setting desired results in their function, measuring them, monitoring them and reporting on them — giving you a 'balanced scorecard' for the agency.

And they can coach the rest of the leadership team on understanding progress, making improvements, identifying risks to achieving the results and preparing a plan B (and C and D!).

This way you avoid people being responsible for 'marking their own homework', getting a more genuine and useful picture of the whole performance of the agency.

It's part of building a culture of more accountability.

But they shouldn't just fall into being a scorekeeper, they must be a coach. Working side by side with the leadership in each function in the agency to help them analyse and plan towards achieving the results.

It's a one-team approach. Everyone stands or falls together.

And your FD could be a bigger part of that team.