Do we need Happy CFOs?

Marco Venturelli11 March 2023
Do we need Happy CFOs?

Five years after the start of The Happy CFO blog, people ask me: Can we still talk about Happiness after Covid, the climate challenge and the Ukrainian war? Should the CFO care about his/her happiness and the one of the company stakeholders? Aren’t we wasting time talking about Happiness, when more urgent priorities are out there?

Friends, colleagues, finance professionals still smile at me when I tell them that according to common opinion, Finance and Happiness are an oxymoron and that when you search Google for CFO and Happiness, my 2017 article “The Happy CFO: How Finance helps Society” still comes among the first mentioned out of 2.4 m answers, showing that the road will be long before the two concepts would marry, but the seed was planted.

Friends smile, but my opinion and answer remained the same during the past years: “The Happy CFO’s recipe is simple and, at the same time, very challenging: our companies will continue to be profitable and generate work for our great-grandchildren, if the CFOs convince their CEOs and shareholders that short term orientation, not balanced with objectives of environmental and social sustainability, will not last long”. If Happiness is the pursuit of the Company strategy, then the world would be better.

Today I am launching a revised and upgraded version of the website The Happy CFO where you can find articles, news and ideas to grow your knowledge on Happiness and Finance and decide what is your choice.  I re wrote my approach in the below article, structured on answering and commenting some key questions:

  • Do we need Happy CFOs?
  • Finance and the Good Society: can Finance drive the change?
  • The Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs)and Happiness
  • Happiness as a goal for the Company – The new goals for corporations
  • Society needs leaders to change. Could the CFOs drive it? 
  • If the CFO is not happy how S/he can care about happiness?
  • To generate Happiness, the CFO should be the first to be happy.
  • An AI view on Finance, Happiness and CFOs
  • Yes, Happy CFOs are needed

In the past years, I presented and shared my philosophy not only on the blog but on LinkedIn and in many  conferences in Milan, Paris, Oxford and Vilnius. Every time I share my thoughts, I find Finance and non-Finance people agreeing that the matter requires attention and action.

The good news, we are not alone in sustaining the need for a better world and Finance is key to make it happen! I took some sentences from Prince Charles, now King, at the 2019 Global CFA conference: “Policy, technology and data will all need to play their part in addressing these challenges (climate change, inequality, unsustainable growth), but finance and investment, in particular, are an absolutely crucial part of the solution. In the simplest of terms, capital needs urgently to be allocated away from activities that generate negative externalities and towards those that will make a positive impact on one or more of the Sustainable Development Goals.” It has been estimated that achieving the SDGs will open up 12 trillion US dollars of market opportunities by 2030. Of course, the cost to society, business and the finance community of not achieving a sustainable future is far greater now. (…) The good news is that, not only are investment professionals becoming aware of the positive impact on performance that can be achieved by incorporating E.S.G. considerations into investment processes, but many are also increasingly conscious that demand for these products is rising fast, both by institutional and retail investors, and that society, in the shape of regulators and policymakers, is, at last, starting to require action. (..). So in summary, I could only say that Finance has some extremely important choices to make. In an increasingly threatened and uncertain world, the stakes could not be higher, and your leadership, and that of your peers, will be absolutely crucial in achieving a more secure future for us all”.

Finance and the Good Society: can Finance drive the change?

When more than 10 years ago, Nobel Prize winner Robert J. Shiller published “Finance and the Good Society”, – his exhortation for recognizing Finance as one of the most powerful tool we have to solve world problems and increase the general well-being – he could not have imagined how the arrival of the Covid pandemic, the climate change and the most recent war in Ukraine would have seen financial institutions engaged in helping the recovery and drive necessary change.

According to the World Bank, “Finance is central for the equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020, as communities across the globe struggled to contain the spread of COVID-19 and manage the health and human costs of the pandemic, governments initiated large and unprecedented emergency support measures to mitigate the worst immediate impacts of the pandemic. These measures included lockdowns that closed businesses, fiscal stimulus packages that included direct cash support for households and firms, monetary policies that reduced interest rates and eased lending conditions for financial institutions, and financial sector policies such as debt repayment moratoria for households and firms, as well as credit guarantee schemes. These crisis policies have helped limit the worst economic outcomes of the pandemic in the short run. However, they also revealed and worsened a number of economic fragilities that could threaten a sustainable and equitable economic recovery. This is a real concern considering that the economic effects of the pandemic are proving to be more persistent and severe for low- and middle-income countries”.

So now, more than ever, Finance could play its stewardship role and facilitate the relaunch and recovery of a broken world. “Finance is the science of goal architecture – continues Shiller – and those who work in the field are the architects who structure these goals and manage the risks of all enterprises and institutions vital to Society”. A fundamental role is played by the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as I will later explain.

I am convinced that Shiller’s idea that: “Finance, despite its flaws and excesses, is a force that potentially can help us create a better, more prosperous, and more equitable society. (…) “Finance remains an essential social institution, necessary for managing the risks that enable society to transform creative impulses into vital products and services, from improved surgical protocols to advanced manufacturing technologies to sophisticated scientific research enterprises to entire public welfare systems.”

The book, written few years after the 2008 financial crisis, aimed to sustain perpetuation of the search of financial innovations as Finance “has the potential to offer hope for a more fair and just world, and that the energy of intelligence of finance actors are needed to help serve this goal”.

The Sustainable Developments Goals (SDGs)and Happiness

While Finance was offering itself to be “the architect” of future prosperity, on September 2015 the world joining the United Nations set a collective precedent that would encourage Finance to re gain a more central role: “On behalf of the peoples we serve, we have adopted a historic decision on a comprehensive, far reaching and people-centered set of universal and transformative Goals and targets (SDG Sustainable Development Goals). We commit ourselves to working tirelessly for the full implementation of this Agenda by 2030. We recognize that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. We are committed to achieving sustainable development in its three dimensions – economic, social and environmental – in a balanced and integrated manner. We will also build upon the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and seek to address their unfinished business”.

Sustainable development in 3 dimensions economic, social and environmental.

The SDGs gave a further push to the debate in Society about what measures should society use to set the goals for citizens.

 Already in 1968, Robert F. Kennedy decried that GDP measures everything, except that which makes life worthwhile. In the US constitutional law the pursue of citizen’s Happiness is stated while country well being was measured on GDP growth: industrial output instead of citizen’s happiness!

Happiness is closely related to the sustainable development goals (SDGs). The SDGs recognize that well-being and happiness are important aspects of sustainable development and include several goals that are directly related to increasing happiness and well-being, including:

Goal 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 8: Promote sustained, inclusive, and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all

Goal 10: Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable

Goal 16: Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all, and build effective, accountable, and inclusive institutions at all levels

These goals recognize that happiness and well-being are closely linked to other aspects of sustainable development, such as health, economic prosperity, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability. By addressing these issues, the SDGs aim to create conditions that support the well-being and happiness of all people.

 In a 2018 article by Leire Iriarte and Laura Musikanski, on the Journal of Community Well Being, the authors give a summary about “the use of wider measures of well-being, also called happiness, quality-of-life or Beyond GDP indicators in lieu or in addition to gross domestic product. Some of these initiatives are the call from the United Nations (UN) General Assembly ( 2011) on member states to adopt happiness and well-being in terms of measurements and goals; the issue of the World Happiness Report since 2012 (see World Happiness Report); the Global Happiness Policy Report first published in 2018 (Global Happiness Council 2018); and the Better Life Index developed by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) issued in 2011. Countries are using indicators of happiness and well-being, including subjective well-being (SWB) indicators, to gather data and communities across the globe are measuring happiness and using the data to guide interventions (Musikanski et al. 2017). Bhutan and the United Arab Emirates are forming policy specifically aimed at increasing the happiness of their populations (Centre for Bhutan Studies and GNH 2018; Musikanski 2014; Musikanski 2018)”.

Happiness as a goal for the Company – The new goals for corporations

In the last five years it has become even more clear how Finance could drive Society towards a more fair and just world if it would help setting the right goals, in line with SDGs, Happiness and Financial sustainability.

In current Financial capitalism, enterprises play a crucial role in gathering, motivating and driving the energy of many toward a set of objectives, goals and targets, generating profit. Then the idea to adjust or include non financial measures among those target would facilitate the reaching of the broad SDGs and Happiness scope on top of the profitability one.

The suggestion to measure company’s outcome using a profit adjusted measure is not new. It came already in 1994 when John Elkington coined the term Triple Bottom Line proposing to blend profit taking into consideration impact on people and planet so to consider the three dimensions brought forward, many years later, by the SDGs. Economic social environmental.

Unfortunately the predominant economic theory, still prevailing today after more than 50 years, says that  “there is one and only one social responsibility of business – to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profit so long as it stays within the rules of the game, which is to say, engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud” – the Milton Friedman theory.

Colin Mayer in his 2018 book “Prosperity” challenges the logic: “After more than 50 years since the Friedman doctrine first appeared, we should be nearing a state of nirvana. Instead, on the contrary, trust in business, government and regulation has never been lower.”

After Covid pandemic, the climate challenge and the Ukraine war, the distance from nirvana is even increased: there are clear examples that maximizing individual company goal doesn’t work immediately in favor of the Good for Society:

  • during Covid we saw the fragility of the supply chain that is mostly built on labor arbitrage, making products where labor cost and conditions are by far lower than in the home country and then re importing, often using fiscal complacent State to shift profit and optimize tax burden;
  • in those countries often environmental costs and protection are milder so they are just far from home but heavily impacting on the world pollution and CO2 emissions.
  • low labor costs countries and fiscal complacent states are very often ruled by non democratic institutions so the exploitation to home society of part of the profits sustain a world of injustice
  • it was impressive to see how many businesses were in financial distress just a few weeks into the pandemic, showing the fragility of business built purely on risk externalization, high financial leverage and low financial education.

Colin Mayer suggests to reimagining the role and impact of business within society. Reinventing our view of profit joined by proper governance of purpose can lead to a transformational effect on how business leaders organize their activities and reposition corporations as organizations that produce profitable solutions to the problems of the world.

Society needs leaders to change. Could the CFO drive it?

In a world of financial capitalism, Finance lost view of its role as “tool” to help society and became an “end” to multiply paper profits.

Bertrand Badrè, former CFO at the World Bank, describes in the book “Can Finance save the world?” published in 2018, the situation: “If we let finance continue on the path that led to the financial crisis — serving the elite and feeding the speculators profiting from harnessing the power of finance in narrow self-serving ways — then we are certain to drive up the level of discord. People will continue to feel increasingly disenfranchised and nationalism and protectionism will accelerate”.

He adds, “Finance is not the master and should not be manipulated by elites. By using finance as a servant, we can re-position its use. We need to set the agenda for financial inclusion and give access to everyone”.

Among the “we”, Badrè proposes to take action, I am convinced that the CFOs can drive a lot of progress and change.

Five years ago, while working as a CFO for a major Pharmaceutical company, inspired by these authors and just “sitting on their shoulders”, I started reflecting on the role that Finance and the CFOs have in Society: CFOs are deeply involved and engaged in the process to drive company resources towards companies goals in order to maximize results and outcomes.

The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) is a senior executive who is responsible for managing a company’s financial affairs. In financial capitalism, the CFO plays a critical role in ensuring that a company is financially healthy and sustainable.

The CFO is responsible for a wide range of financial tasks, including developing and implementing financial strategies, managing financial risks, preparing financial reports, and overseeing budgeting and forecasting processes. The CFO also plays a key role in attracting investment and managing relationships with financial stakeholders, such as investors, lenders, and financial analysts.

In many companies, the CFO reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and works closely with other members of the senior leadership team. The CFO is often seen as a key advisor to the CEO on financial matters and CFOs are deeply involved in supporting and enabling strategy and most work side-by-side with the CEO. Involvement in corporate strategy has become an integral part of the job.

It is undisputed today that the CFO is a relevant leader, in each mid to big size corporation.

CFOs now have the ability and the mandate to contribute directly to the direction of the business as well as reviewing and reporting on its performance. According to the Economist, the CFO is, towards the financial analysts, is even more credible than the CEO and the Economist defines him/her, “the Supremo”.

Though the CEO is typically the highest-ranking executive and has overall responsibility for the company’s operations and strategic direction, the CFO plays a vital role in the financial management of a company.

While the CEO is currently under pressure for short term results, in the utilitarian Friedman logic, the CFO who understand how the goals and target settings should change then he/she can act as a change agent and convince “their CEOs and shareholders that short term orientation, not balanced with objectives of environmental and social sustainability, will not last long”.

If the CFO is not happy how S/he can care about happiness?

According to Wikipedia there are many definitions of Happiness : “in the context of mental or emotional states, is positive or pleasant emotions ranging from contentment to intense joy. Other forms include life satisfaction, well-being, subjective well-being, flourishing and eudaimonia”. (See also The Pursuit of Happiness for further deepening on the matter).

I would pragmatically refer to Eudaimonia, the Aristotle definition of Happiness to make the point that if the CFO is not happy (whatever definition of happiness we take) he/she cannot lead a company whose objective, among others, includes SDGs and Happiness and well being of the company’s stakeholders.

Without experiencing directly a “path towards happiness”, it would be very difficult to drive it for the others.

While driving financially a company looking only at profit doesn’t necessarily require much compassion and care about social and environmental long term consequences, when driving a company toward a “triple bottom line”, a “Triathlete manager” is needed according to Grayson:

  • S/He has the ability to contextualize, to understand trends in favor of sustainability and how and where the organization fits into the wider context;
  • It shares his/er own personal purpose, together with authentic values;
  • S/He has the ability to inspire others and empower them in a corporate sustainability context
  • Has the ability to conceive, create and continually improve or when appropriate exit partnerships with other businesses and stakeholders

“A type of manager who is capable of developing networks in different contexts with appropriate communication methods and languages. He must be at ease when working in his specific business, in the social and environmental sectors. He knows how to work in public-private cooperation contexts which for a company, increasingly influenced by the social impact it creates, is essential to be successful.”

While usually CFOs learn how to “drive profit”, a different skill set, values and mindset is needed when working on his/er personal happiness and searching to create happiness and well being for the others

According to Aristotle, eudaimonia (happiness) was the ultimate goal of human life and was achieved by living in accordance with reason and virtue. Happiness is the meaning and purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence. He believed that virtue was a mean between two extremes of excess and deficiency, and that living a virtuous life meant finding the right balance between these extremes.

Aristotle believed that living a virtuous life required developing good habits and practices, and that this process of habituation was essential to achieving eudaimonia. He also believed that living in accordance with reason and virtue required living in accordance with one’s nature as a human being, and that this required developing one’s intellectual and moral virtues.

Overall, Aristotle’s view of eudaimonia emphasizes the importance of living a virtuous and rational life in order to achieve happiness and well-being.

The CFO should drive the company towards happiness, measured by SDGs and well being, in combination with financial sustainability. If happiness and growth are the scope of the society and the company has to provide profitable solutions to the problems of the world, according to Mayer’s suggestion, then driving towards happiness should meet also the SDGs and financial sustainability.

It is a different perspective to the Finance profession, but I think that the World needs Happy CFOs, capable to reach the short term objectives of his or her unit without compromising the long term sustainability. Able to optimize the use of money but taking care of environment and social situation. Capable of applying emotional intelligence while allocating resources, taking into consideration the behavioral economics so well described by Kahneman and use it with compassion and understanding of human beings to be fully effective as business partner. Nowadays decisions are so complex that only being open to listen to cross functional expertise and business knowledge would allow Finance to advice on the best option. Models and brain power must be adjusted by empathy, understanding a bit also the humane side of the budget owners.

When the objectives are built on listening, understanding, compassion and consensus, the sense of purpose of the whole unit is greater. Financials and company purpose blend more intimately. In my past unit, for example, it was providing solutions to patients. Then embedded in a broader scope, when numbers turn in the right direction, Finance accomplish its role. The whole Society benefits for proper use of money. Happiness comes.

To generate Happiness, the CFO should be the first to be happy.

Dr.Travis Bradberry, an expert in Emotional intelligence says: “Everybody wants to be happy and live a satisfactory and fulfilling life. Already Aristotle, the Greek philosopher made it clear that “Eudaimonia [happiness] is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence “. The search of happiness can be extended as  Valentina Minutiello explained during her PhD thesis discussion, surprising the audience with the syllogism: “if human beings, according to Aristotle, want and need to achieve eudaimonia and companies are made by and for human beings, then the companies need to achieve eudaimonia”.

 “While the good news, continues Travis, is that just 50% of happiness is influenced by genetics the rest is up to us. When it comes to making yourself happy, you need to learn what works for you. Once you discover this, everything else tends to fall into place, and making yourself happy and Martin Luther King Jr. once said the “surest way to be happy is to seek happiness for others.”

There are hundreds of suggestions on how to start a journey toward self awareness and Happiness. I read various schemes and I propose a weekly journey: The 7 Days Guide to the pursue of Happiness in Finance

Monday: Giving – Do Things For Others. You are back at work and on your desk the last week Sales report. Division Two, the one the company is counting a lot for this quarter results, is again behind budget. Give them a call, let them know that you care, offer your support. “I am sure we are all together doing the right things. It just takes time for our initiative to generate expected outcome” you may say. Show some compassion, maybe it was your team to set such a high target to the Division head.

Tuesday: Relating – Connect with people – Make three extra connections today. Take the stairs and go to Departments of your organization where they usually do not meet you. The Labs? A nearby Warehouse? The Internal communication team?. It is up to you. Stop to chat with them tell them what the Company is doing, learn some new name. Show your Emotions: say something positive: “Your proposal to expand the Labs has really positively impressed me. It will be stretched to fund it but you were so passionate behind the idea that we are taking the risk”

Wednesday: Exercising – Take care of your body. Are you exercising in the local company gym or prefer more exclusive places? Pay the fee, go to the company gym: notice which healthy actions lifts your mood and do more of them. “Try to limit your sitting and sleeping to just 23 and a half hours a day” suggests Dr Mike Evans.

Thursday: Awareness – Live life mindfully – “Reflect – Learning how to be still, to really be still and let life happen – that stillness becomes a radiance” say Morgan Freeman. Notice and appreciate the good things that your company is doing, list the KPIs where you are beating competition, call to your mind all the efficiency projects you team is committed to, think to some individuals that helped you in your life to become who you are, that were meaningful to you. Clear your table, quit your email and reflect on small positive things. Vanessa King, AFH’s lead positive psychologist and architect of the keys, who’s writing a book on them, suggest to canvass friends to find out what you are good at – then do more of it.

Friday: Acceptance No-one’s perfect. But so often we compare a negative view of ourselves and the difficulties to make things happen in the place where we work, with an unrealistic view of other people and the organization they work for. Dwelling on our flaws – what we are not rather than what we have got- makes much harder to be happy. Friday’s SWAT could mean maybe ‘Sell What’s Available Today’, putting passion and determination instead of desiring someone else’s’ s success. Notice things you do well, however small.

Saturday: Resilience. ‘Fail again, fail better’ sustains Samuel Beckett. Get from Netflix the movie Pursuit of Happiness based on a true story about a man named Christopher Gardner. Gardner has invested heavily in a device known as a “Bone Density scanner”. He feels like he has made these devices. However, they do not sell, as they are marginally better than the current technology at a much higher price. As Gardner tries to figure out how to sell them, his wife leaves him; he loses his house, his bank account, and credit cards. Forced to live out in the streets with his son, Gardner is now desperate to find a steady job; he takes on a job as a stockbroker, but before he can receive pay, he needs to go through 6 months of training, and to sell his devices. Or watch again Life is Beautiful where a gentle Jewish-Italian waiter, Guido Orefice, meets Dora, a pretty schoolteacher, and wins her over with his charm and humour. Eventually they marry and have a son, Giosue. Their happiness is abruptly halted, however, when Guido and Giosue are separated from Dora and taken to a concentration camp. Determined to shelter his son from the horrors of his surroundings, Guido convinces Giosue that their time in the camp is merely a game.

If the week was heavy take the day to shift your mood and bring new perspectives to the challenges you are facing.

Sunday Trying out – Keep learning new things Surprise your family cook a new meal, bring them to visit a new nice place, “As long as you live, keep learning how to live” said Seneca. Find time to lose yourself in what you love.

It’s Monday again, you enter smiling your office. On your desk the Quarterly Report…Division Two made the Sales target. It is time to set your goal for the next quarter. Share your dreams; tell to 3 people what is important for you and the company. Set your personal Happiness goal and share with them. Be The Happy CFO!

An AI view on Finance, Happiness and CFOs

When I first wrote the article “The Happy CFO: How Finance helps Society”, Artificial Intelligence applications were at their infancy. More recently the use of AI has widened and Open AI made available a Bversion of a Chatbot, ChatGPT, that in the following interview I will name Billie-bot.

Billie-bot could be a source of wisdom has it has acquired millions of texts and articles from the web and everytime you ask a question, in a succinct way, shares the summary of all that knowledge.

Then I tried to check if some of my ideas and conclusions about Finance, Happiness and the role that the CFO can play were confirmed by the “wisdom of the crowd”.

Here my talk with Billie-bot on the Happy CFO favorite subjects: Finance and Happiness.

Thehappycfo: “Let’s talk about Finance and Happiness..”

Billie-bot: “There is a relationship between finance and happiness, although it is not a direct one. Money can certainly bring some level of happiness, particularly if it is used to meet basic needs and provide financial security. However, beyond a certain point, the relationship between money and happiness becomes weaker.

One reason for this is that people adapt to changes in their financial circumstances. For example, if you receive a significant raise at work, you may initially feel a boost in happiness. However, over time, you may adjust to your new financial situation and your happiness levels may return to where they were before the raise.

Additionally, research has shown that other factors, such as relationships, personal values, and a sense of purpose, are more important predictors of happiness than financial status. In fact, some studies have found that an obsession with material possessions and a focus on financial success can actually lead to lower levels of happiness.

Overall, it is important to find a balance between financial stability and other sources of happiness in life. While money can be a useful tool for improving quality of life, it should not be the sole focus.”

Thehappycfo: “Explain how company profit can improve if employees are happy”

Billie-bot: “There is evidence to suggest that happy employees can lead to improved company profits.

Here are a few ways in which employee happiness can impact the bottom line:

1 Increased productivity: Happy employees are generally more productive, as they are more motivated and engaged in their work. This can lead to higher levels of output, which can directly impact the company’s profitability.

2 Reduced absenteeism: Happy employees are less likely to take time off work, which can reduce costs associated with absenteeism.

3 Improved customer satisfaction: Happy employees are more likely to provide good customer service, which can lead to increased customer satisfaction and loyalty. This can drive repeat business and positive word-of-mouth, both of which can contribute to increased profits.

4 Higher retention rates: Happy employees are less likely to leave their jobs, which can reduce the costs associated with hiring and training new employees.

5 Overall, a positive work environment that promotes employee happiness can have a range of benefits for a company, including increased profits. It is important for companies to consider the well-being and happiness of their employees as a key factor in their overall business strategy.

Thehappycfo: “Can a happy chief financial officer exist?”

Billie-bot: “Yes, it is certainly possible for a chief financial officer (CFO) to be happy in their role. Like any other profession, the CFO role can be fulfilling and rewarding, and it is possible for individuals to find happiness and satisfaction in their work.

However, it is important to note that the CFO role can also be stressful and demanding, with a high level of responsibility for managing a company’s financial affairs. Therefore, it is important for CFOs to have a good work-life balance and to prioritize their own well-being in order to maintain happiness and satisfaction in their role.

Some ways in which a CFO can promote their own happiness and well-being include setting boundaries around work, finding ways to manage stress, and taking time to engage in activities that bring them joy and fulfillment outside of work. By taking care of themselves and finding a balance between work and personal life, CFOs can increase their chances of happiness and satisfaction in their role.”

Thehappycfo: “Then a company should make sure that the CFO is involved in sustaining happiness?”

Billie-bot: “It is generally a good idea for a company to consider the well-being and happiness of all of its employees, including the CFO. A happy and satisfied CFO can contribute to a positive work environment and improved overall performance at the company.

There are a few ways in which a company can support the happiness and well-being of its CFO:

1 Offer support and resources: A company can provide its CFO with resources and support to help them manage the demands of their role, such as providing access to stress management resources or offering opportunities for professional development.

2 Encourage a healthy work-life balance: A company can encourage its CFO to prioritize their own well-being by promoting a healthy work-life balance. This could involve offering flexible work arrangements or encouraging the CFO to take time off when needed.

3 Foster a positive work culture: A positive work culture that values employee well-being can help to create a happy and fulfilling work environment for the CFO. This can involve promoting open communication, recognizing and valuing the contributions of employees, and creating opportunities for collaboration and teamwork.

Overall, it is important for a company to prioritize the well-being and happiness of its CFO, as this can have a positive impact on the overall performance and success of the organization.

It is really amazing to see how well prepared in Billie-bot to talk about Finance and Happiness and I am sure many of the advices from the bot will be part of the next year budget!

Yes, Happy CFOs are needed

Taking inspiration from the closing statements in Colin Mayer’s book “Prosperity”, I think the CFOs nowadays are at a cross road: if “the world of utility seeking homo economicus and profit maximizing corporations, legitimate by law, restrained by regulation with governments internalizing the externalities” would not perish, their capability to drive financially the corporation they belong remains untouched.

If the CFOs envision a world where the “corporation’s proper purpose is to profit for, not from, its people and planet” then centering his/her action in enhancing  well-being and happiness, starting from his/her own, then the CFOs, can generate a positive impact on the overall performance and success of the organization which will continue to be profitable and generate work and prosperity for our great-grandchildren.