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Watch the accountants

Yesterday I started a corporate finance diploma course run by University College Dublin. I was struck by the diversity of my fellow students.

Among others, they included:

- 2 General Managers of non-profit organizations

- Successful entrepreneurs

- 2 people about to take over a family business

- A dairy farmer

- Two executives from the betting industry

- A car salesman looking to upskill

- A wildly successful consultant based in Munich.... :)

With the exception of the entrepreneurs, these are all types of people and job roles I would never usually cross paths with.

It was fascinating to learn about the similarities and differences in our respective situations and learning requirements.

It was also interesting to hear what had motivated people to take the course. I observed fear, guilt, ambition, curiosity, and necessity.

My takeaways:

1) It's incredibly refreshing to spend time with types of people you would never normally meet.

2) People often have entirely different motivations for pursuing the same goal.

3) My favorite tip from the lecturer: You know a business is really in trouble when the accountants start leaving....

Your To-Dos

1) Get in touch with someone in your organization you would normally have no reason to talk to and book in a coffee or lunch with them. I guarantee you will get some valuable new perspectives on the business.

2) When someone says they want something, make sure you ask them why. They might not even know themselves, which will make your question even more valuable.

3) Keep an eye on the level of staff turnover in your finance department....

Copyright, Hamish Mackenzie 2022

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