#60 Communicating in a Crisis with Tom Berry

Communicating in a crisis isn't easy. Tom Berry brings his extensive communications experience to the GrowCFO Show and talks to Kevin Appleby

Tom Berry joins us on the GrowCFO Show to talk about communications. Tom is passionate about building businesses, creating brilliant places to work, teaching kids and making people happy. His background is in journalism and communications. These days he teaches business in a secondary school and has several non-executive directorships. We discuss communicating in a crisis.

Communicating in a crisis isn’t easy

Tom’s main advice is “Don’t Panic”. Communicating in a crisis needs to be calm and clear. Honesty is important, and it can be a mistake to hide bad news. The CFO needs to assess their skills. Just because the CFO has all the information doesn’t make the CFO the right person to communicate it. If communication isn’t your strength then get somebody else to deliver the message. Tom has much more to say than just this. Listen to the recording to get Tom’s full advice on communicating in a crisis.

Tom Berry as a Non Executive Director

Tom moved from being a financial journalist to running a communications agency. He went on from there to become a Non-Executive Director. Tom tells us how that journey came about and his passion for working with mental health charities.

Why a CFO should also be a NED

Tom advises CFOs to consider taking on a Non-Executive role too. It gives an insight into a different organisation, allows you to see first-hand how other companies work. A good NED listens and is constructively critical. The CFO can enhance their skills by learning to do this. The transfer of ideas across organisational boundaries can be invaluable. CFOs can bring ideas back to their own business.

What makes a good CFO?

Tom has worked with quite a few CFOs.

He believes a good CFO is somebody who will look very closely at the underlying truth and tell the board the truth. A good CFO doesn’t talk to the board that often, but when the CFO needs to communicate he will do so and you know it will be important. There’s no point in repeatedly talking about the status quo.

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