Job Swapping and Career Development

As a middle market CFO, one aspect of my past experience at large corporations that I miss is the ability to develop talent throughout the accounting and finance team through job swapping and promoting from within.  In fast growing middle market businesses, there is ample opportunity for career development, but it stems from the growth of the company and the need for each person to wear multiple hats.  In larger corporations, you need to rotate people through different positions to diversify their skills, improve operations and prevent boredom.  In middle market companies, it’s not as easy or as necessary, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it.

If there aren’t enough positions within your accounting and finance team to make it happen, consider temporary job swaps with other departments.   Your financial folks might bring a new perspective to the sales or operations divisions and vice versa.  It will promote better teamwork, develop your talent pool and keep people engaged, just like it does at large corporations.

The National Center for the Middle Market’s 2013 Q2 Middle Market Indicator

d6arbkvd9cf095iaaq9o_biggerDespite sluggish M&A activity, the National Center for the Middle Market’s 2013 Q2 Middle Market Indicator report shows solid growth with optimism and hiring on the upswing.  For the full report, click the link below:


Middle Market CFO @cfopub giving away free beer

…related advice. That’s right, free beer related advice about how middle market companies can go toe-to-toe with giant corporations and win.  Consider the case of craft beers.  The number of breweries in the U.S. has more than quadrupled in recent years.  Restaurants that once offered the choice of either American mega-brews or ‘imports’ are increasingly turning to a line-up of craft beers, many of them made in America by middle market breweries.  How are they able to compete with the big companies?

  • Make a better product.  The bland American-style pilsners may appeal to the masses but they leave room for competition.
  • Embrace your underdog status.  Turn their strengths (economies of scale, mass appeal) into weaknesses.  “They spill more than we produce” and what not.
  • Work like hell.  Many successful craft brewers will tell you it was a lot harder than they thought it would be, but it was worth it.
  • Be cool.  Get involved in your community.  Host fun events.  Associate with fun-loving adventurous types, musicians and the like.
  • Use clever marketing tactics, something this blogger knows absolutely nothing about.

Most, if not all, of this free beer related advice applies to middle market companies in industries other than beer.