In a few weeks, the 6th Annual CFO Executive Summit will launch in Prague. With 25 speakers, 10 workshops and more than 10 tailor made presentations, our event will focus on the strategic role of the CFO and the role of analytics in today’s business. Among the many interesting speakers is also Award Winning Financial Director of 2015 in Poland Mr. Marek Gruszecki, Vice President of Finance at Quad/Graphics Europe.

In spite of his bustling schedule, I had the chance to interview Marek and discuss more about his upcoming session at our event as well as the challenges that modern Financial Directors face.

Before we dig into our interview, tell me a little about your background and what is the most challenging part of your job?

I’ve been a practitioner of finance for 25 years now. Since January 2010, I’ve been working for Quad/Graphics Europe as the Vice President of Finance and a business partner to the senior management team on issues related to organic growth and acquisitions. My responsibilities include the strategic finance leadership for the Pan-European operations of our company. Quad/Graphics is a leading global provider of print and media solutions. For me, the most challenging part of my job is facing issues relating to our industry that is strongly impacted by the disruptive technologies.

What were some of the biggest lessons that have impacted the way that you work?

The biggest lesson was the successful transformation of the company that I work for.  On such a declining market, the consolidation of our company in 2010/2011 was a challenging step. Now, after five years, we can say that we carried out an enormous success, securing both the people and the company and achieving sustainable growth.

The topic of your presentation is “Moving towards Smarter Budgeting, Planning and Forecasting”. Could you please elaborate on what you will be presenting during our event?

Over the years, the financial environment has changed and has become more complex. Inevitably, the financial planning needs to be elevated to self-serviced advanced analytics and collaborative planning.

It is not about new technologies. Modern systems will not help you to form a modern way of planning. What is really important is the quality of the planning system and people’s behavior in the planning process. In my case study, I will be presenting the new technology tools (such as Tableau, PREZI, Kumu, Movavi) that could be applied in modern planning.

I will be talking about the VUCA environment that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. In order to succeed in VUCA environment it is important for attendees to learn how to use modern technologies such as self – service advanced analytics in finance planning so that their people will properly visualize in their minds, what the future may look like, get prepared for different outcomes and in a disciplined manner, try to adapt their organization to the new normal.

Furthermore, I will talk about the ways you can built a collaborative and cognitive process into planning by using new technologies. Finally, I will be talking about how a company can achieve sustainable growth taking advantage of the knowledge of professional sports coaches.

What do you believe is the #1 takeaway of your presentation for those attending the event?

As technology advances, we must too. My strong belief is that technology can positively transform the finance function, if used smartly. But it’s not all about technology. It’s about training people from different departments during their strategic planning sessions. It is people’s preparation for the upcoming, complex strategic changes that is the most important part of planning process and the role of each CFO is to visualize it and share the story about the financial impact with all stakeholders and help the organization to adapt to new normal environment in a sustainable way.

Interested in meeting Marek Gruszecki in person? Join our 6th Annual CFO Executive Summit in Prague and learn more about the strategic role of the CFO and the role of analytics in today’s business! Don’t forget to like our Facebook Page and follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter!