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My key KPI: Trust

16th Jul 2018
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My key KPI

Welcome to ‘My key KPI’, a new weekly content series where we ask CFOs and FDs what metrics and measures they use to drive their businesses forward.

The aim is to understand how different finance professionals, across a broad array of industries and sectors, use data to inform their decision making.

For this week's edition, we speak to Eman Goubran, the CFO of SAP's Middle East and North Africa operation. 

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My Key KPI: Trust

Eman Goubran’s key KPI is an intangible one: trust. It sounds fluffy perhaps, but as the CFO of SAP’s Middle East and North African region, micromanagement just won’t cut it.

“Through promoting trust within my team, people are empowered and will take the necessary decisions to run with things when I’m not available, or if an urgent, exceptional situation arises. I’m always on hand to advise them and if an error occurs, we will fix it.”

For Goubran, this spares her time and energy. And, said Goubran, it facilitates a culture of proactive honesty.

“I encourage my team to openly discuss with me what they want to achieve. They trust that I will not judge them and I trust that they will share all the details. This approach has increased the compliance level and the synergy.

“They want to avoid losing my trust so this reflects in the way they handle things, and they know they can rely on my support with tricky situations. Trust is measured by the success of our team.”


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By C.Y.Nical
19th Jul 2018 20:52

This does work if it is done carefully and the boss retains a healthy dose of scepticism.

The best boss I ever had when I was working for other people was when I worked for a chap who had built his business from scratch and ran it in the way Eman Goubran describes.

The trust was tangible. When the directors of Halifax Building Society went mad and decided to convert I borrowed £50,000 from him to increase my deposit to the level which entitled me to receive the maximum possible bribe for allowing this disastrous piece of hubris to go through. I think the bribe was £10,000, a lot of money at the time. The point is not my venal behaviour (which I didn't realise was venal when I did it), but my boss's trust. He really did trust his team. When he agreed to the loan I asked whether his solicitors or mine should draft the loan agreement. He looked me in the eye and stuck out his hand, we shook hands, he transferred the money, and I paid him back in full on the due date. To my way of thinking that's real trust. Other members of the team would have similar stories to tell, some financial, some not. We would have walked through fire for that man. Except for the so-and-so who broke the trust. Mind you, he lived to regret it, and that's the other side of the same coin. If you decide to make trust a KPI you have to accept that you must impose severe penalties coldly and ruthlessly if the trust is ever broken.

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