You aren’t sure. Are you? I got you thinking about whether or not you are an impresario, though, which is good. Merriam Webster defines an impresario as “the promoter, manager, or conductor of an opera or concert company.” Now, you are probably asking yourself what this person has to do with your tax department. The answer is absolutely nothing. You don’t have time to attend an opera or a concert, much less pull one together. However, that is not the kind of impresario I am talking about.
Last year, Seth Godin and a group of 20 students, put their own spin on the meaning of this word by defining it as:read more
The story I am about to share however, also includes concepts in leadership skills and is a great example we can all learn from. I will keep the details in the abstract to protect the innocent (I did get permission to share the story though!).read more
Richard Branson is an adventure seeker and a risk taker. Personally, he has tried to set records for the fastest Atlantic Ocean crossing and attempted to circumnavigate the globe by balloon eight times. Professionally, as the founder and chairman of Virgin Group with an estimated net worth of $4.2 billion, according to Forbes 2012 list of billionaires, he definitely knows a thing or two about how to create and run a company. Undoubtedly along the way, there have been successes and failures, but the tenets that guide him have certainly been proven to work. So, what is it that he does time and again that makes him so successful and what can a tax department learn from him to garner their own success?read more
Just like curators assemble collections of artwork or books, talent is another valuable commodity that can be managed and organized. In today’s fast-paced, global economy when resources are often at a shortage, the additional talent needed to support the tax department can be hard to find. Yet, most tax departments still find their talent by using the antiquated approach of resume gathering for candidate selection. Simply put, the hunter acts as a curator, organizing and assembling the right group of individuals to work in the tax department. There is a chance using this approach that a tax department may find its best contributors. But for the times when it falls short, the question is who was missed using this closed-off approach?read more
I just recently read an insightful article in the Harvard Business Review by Robert A. Eckert, titled “The Two Most Important Words”. For those of you who may not know who Robert Eckert is, he was a 23 year veteran of Kraft Foods for some 23 years, and President and Chief Executive Officer from 1997 to 2000. He was responsible for overseeing all of Kraft’s business units and for leading its policy decision-making board. He then went to Mattel, Inc. from 2000 to December 31, 2011. When he arrived at Mattel, the “company was losing almost a million dollars a day, the bonus pool was empty, and equity awards were underwater”. However, Mr. Eckert felt optimistic….on his first day, at a “town hall” gathering in the cafeteria, he said, “I know how this works.read more
Most corporate tax professionals have sat through at least one unproductive meeting in their careers. I would venture to guess it has probably been more than one. I remember a time in my career where I spent the majority of my day going from one meeting to another. All of this might have been okay, or at least bearable, if the majority of the meetings ended in a decision being made. However, a typical meeting went something like this: a meeting request would be sent out to numerous individuals, typically from various departments, in an effort to make some kind of decision. The meetings were often longer than necessary with many different opinions and observations being shared. Communication issues were prevalent.read more