It was great to see CFOs, their deputies and aspiring leaders at the recent retreat.
This AFEP II event built on the success of the AFEP programme in its third year. This year’s programme focused on the CFO as a strategic leader.
With this as the theme, we heard all about how to manage major events – the London Olympics, TfL – and meeting the expectations of political leaders while delivering on the front line. This included development at speed of organisational needs and using staff skills in different roles. Key to success is:
- being able to make decisions based on the best information available and not being afraid to change the decision when more information becomes available
- focusing on outcomes
- staying strategic and staying high level
- trusting the people you have and the talents they have
- building on what you already know
- not being afraid to think outside the box
- not hesitating – look for opportunities and the “win wins”.
The People Development workstream discussed the need to consider the welfare of people, not just their development. We had participation in an interactive coaching session – a different skill to mentoring and a tool to unlock talent.
Strategic leaders need to be able to make decisions, and the presentation on the “Six Thinking Hats” approach to decision making had everyone involved in resolving a particular problem, considering all the implications and benefits.
A presentation on leadership in a crisis situation and a very thought-provoking speaker on diversity finished off the first day.
Day two started with a panel of economists and the Home Office giving their insights on what could affect police funding and budget planning decisions. This was followed by the launch of the resilience toolkit developed for policing by the Data workstream at CIPFA. This will assist CFOs in assessing medium-term financial resilience and provide a means of sharing best practice.
We also heard about what we should be considering in relation to Cloud-based software in providing integrated digital transformation.
In conclusion, a varied and in-depth couple of days.
Further information, highlights and a host of images from the retreat can be found on the CIPFA website: CIPFA’s AFEP CFO Retreat 2022.
If you have any questions in relation to the training opportunities, including the remaining scholarship places available through the AFEP programme, please contact Melissa Leen.
Charlotte Radford – Police and Fire Advisor