Schlagwort-Archive: help

How Can Finance Help The Business Add Value?


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Anders Liu-Lindberg
Finance Master | Finance Transformation Expert | THE Finance Business Partner | Writer
When the discussion falls on Millennials and what they want from their work and careers there’s one word that dominates: “Purpose”. In fact, Millennials are even labeled “The purpose-driven generation”. This got me thinking in terms of what I want to achieve with my career in Finance and my writing no less. At the same time, I was thinking about an article from one of the Top Voices of 2016 on LinkedIn, Jeffrey Towson on how he got 300,000 followers in 18 months where his point #1 was an interesting one.

“Choose one valuable question to focus on”
That immediately made sense to me in terms of giving my career and writing a purpose and made it clear as to what I was really trying to achieve. I’ve been exploring many aspects of current trends and developments in the finance function and despite having written series of articles revolving around the same topic they never really had a focus stemming from a purpose. At least I hadn’t made it clear to myself. Now it has become clear though and my writing going forward as well as what I strive to achieve in my day job will explore the single question of.

“How Can Finance Help The Business Add Value?”
Why is this important?

Late last year I wrote an article titled “Why Transforming Finance Matters” discussing if Finance (or more specifically the people working in the function) was even needed. At the end of the day at the core of every company, it’s about creating value. You typically do that by solving problems and so this is also what every day should be about for Finance. How can the function help add value by solving problems together with the business? If the finance function can’t provide any answers on how to solve the problems that the business has set out to solve, all it will ever do is the minimum legally required. However, that doesn’t bring purpose to all the young people coming into finance and accounting. To a purpose-driven generation, it has to be about something more than the paycheck at the end of the month and doing the bare minimum. That’s why it’s important to answer the question of how Finance can help add value to the business. The answers will bring purpose to those that choose a career in Finance and open the eyes of the business to how Finance should be an important partner in achieving its goals.

Decomposing the question

Before going in-depth with trying to find answers to the question let’s start by decomposing the question itself. What does it actually mean?

How: “in what way or manner; by what means” i.e. it’s about finding ways, means, and manners in which Finance can help the business add value. It’s about exploring different paths and aspects of HOW to help.

Can: “to be able to; have the ability, power or skills to”. The word itself leads to two questions.

1.      Why is it "can" and not "shall" and should Finance even do this?

2.      Does Finance have the ability and skills to help?

As for 1) I firmly believe Finance should do this referring back to the discussion about purpose. While there are many legal reasons as to why Finance exists then I believe that it’s the value adding part that is the true purpose of Finance. Moreover, this is more about whether or not Finance actually has the ability, power, and skills to do it rather than the intent to do it. All the good intentions in the world matter none if there’s no capability to actually do it. This leads to 2) which is about exploring Finance’s current skills and abilities but certainly also the power that Finance has in the company and the ability to make an impact.

Finance: This is not so much about the official definition of the word but simply put about “the finance function”. It’s the department that almost all companies have which often includes accounting, tax, financial planning and analysis, treasury etc.

Help: “to give or provide what is necessary to accomplish a task or satisfy a need”. This is about helping someone else to achieve their goals. It can be the business overall but also line managers, other departments etc.

The Business: In broad terms, it’s the company in which the finance function operates but it can also be line managers, departments etc. as per above. Seen from the outside it’s the entity in which people have invested their money and demand a return from.

Add Value: There’s the addition i.e. the opposite of subtraction meaning there has to be more of something when Finance is done helping. That more of something is more value and whereas value can be defined in many ways such as shareholder value, stock price etc. I’ll define this as discounted cash flow meaning that all the helping that Finance does should eventually lead to a positive cash flow. In many cases, this can be indirect and difficult to measure but Finance must put on itself to quantify the value and how non-financial measures ultimately translate into cash flow.

The start of something bigger

This is the question I’ve been trying to answer through my so far ten years in the finance function and having made it explicit gives me a new sense of direction. That’s why in 2017 you will find that all my writing will be centered on this question just as establishing Finance Business Partnering 2.0 at Maersk Line was in my day job in 2016. My latest series “The CFOs Roadmap To Transforming Finance” and “How Finance People Can Be More Successful” both explored this question although not explicitly expressed but going forward all articles will explicitly express what part of the question they explore and they will have tangible actions and suggestions on how you or your finance function can improve on how to help the business add value. There’s no fixed end in sight as the world will continue to evolve and new answers to the question will pop up. Are you ready to explore and answer this question together with me?

What’s the question you’re trying to answer in your career and have you found your purpose? How do you think Finance can help the business add value? Having defined this question probably won’t lead to 300,000 followers over the next 18 months like Jeffrey experienced but hopefully, it will make the purpose of my writing crystal clear. Ultimately I do hope it will help you in your career or your finance function actually helping the business add value. As always I very much appreciate your like, comment and/or share.

For more articles about finding a purpose with your career or how Finance can help the business add value please continue reading below. You should also join my Finance Business Partner Forum where we will continue to discuss this topic. Last but not least you can follow me on Twitter for continued insights on developments in the finance function.

Careers and finding a purpose:

How To Break Free From A Stereotype

If I Was 22: Stop Thinking About The Future – Focus. 
Anders Liu-Lindberg is the Senior Finance Business Partner for Maersk Line North Europe and is working with the transformation of Finance and business on a daily basis. I have participated in several transformation processes among others helping Maersk Drilling to go Beyond Budgeting and transformed a finance team from Bean-counters to Business Partners. I would love the chance to collaborate with you on your own transformation processes to help you stay out of disruption. If you are looking for more advice on how to get the most of LinkedIn I also have a few tips to share as well as if you want help in your job search. Don’t be shy! Let’s get in touch and start helping each other.

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Finance Master | Finance Transformation Expert | THE Finance Business Partner | Write

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8 Content Marketing Tips to Help Your Business on Social Media.

Content Marketing:
Content marketing is on every business’s mind these days. As a business or brand we need to keep in mind what the community, or followers, or future buyers are looking for and their reactions to your content. Coming up with content is another post for another time. Here I want to discuss the Marketing and Strategy of your content.

Marketing your content is more than just posting, it is how your content is percieved. It is the little things that count that are not seen on the page, but have meaning.

So here are the basics:
Use your content to gently guide your followers through the buying cycle. Don’t treat it like a speed boat, full throttle from the beginning.

Use Social Media Ads to AMPLIFY the reach of your content. $5, $10, or even $20 can go along way.

The best marketing doesn’t feel like marketing. You can not force people to see the value in your content, services or products. If you are trying to force them, it will turn them off right away.

Use simple headlines. Titles that get to the point will bring higher quality people of interest to your content.

Re-Purpose old content in a new way. Take an old blog and turn it into a video or live stream, take an old video and turn it into a blog, edit a blog into 1 minute clips to put out on various networks. Be creative, there are many things to do.

Use a checklist for your content. List all the channels you want to use it for. Use a Social Media Calendar (get yours here) so you can manage your week with the content.

Look at your analytics of your old content. This gives you an idea of the most popular topics and types of content that are working. This will help with future content so you know what is working.

Always give them a way to contact you at the end. Whether it is Phone, Email, Social Media site, or Website.

I recently did a Facebook Live on this and included it here also.

http://https://www.facebook.com/rcstern/videos/10154604759773900/

I hope this was helpful for you and if you have any thoughts or questions please don’t hesitate to write in the comments below or reach out to me.

Robert C. Stern is the CEO and Founder of The Social Leader. Helping companies and individuals harness the power of Social Media for Business. Please Like us on our Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter.

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The CEO of a billion-dollar brand shares his best strategy to help anyone find a great business idea

You probably won't have a Eureka! moment. Neil Blumenthal pictured. Neil Blumenthal

There's nothing magical about starting a company. In all likelihood, you will not have a Eureka! moment in which you discover the next world-changing business idea.

That's not to say you won't discover the next world-changing business idea — you'll just have to be proactive about it.

Neil Blumenthal, a cofounder and co-CEO of billion-dollar glasses brand Warby Parker, recommends a specific strategy for finding a business idea. In an interview with Business Insider at the Success Makers Summit in April, hosted by American Express OPEN, Blumenthal explained how it works:

"Every day, write down a few frustrations. And then at the end of the week, you'll have maybe 10 problems. By the end of the month, maybe you have 40 to 50 problems. And then you can spend time thinking about: Is there a viable business in solving any of these everyday frustrations?"

Blumenthal said he and his cofounders didn't use this exact technique — the inspiration for Warby Parker came when cofounder and co-CEO Dave Gilboa lost an expensive pair of glasses. The cofounders asked their friends if they'd ever had a similar experience and discovered that overpaying for glasses was a relatively widespread problem.

But Blumenthal emphasized that "successful entrepreneurs are pretty methodical about the problem they're trying to solve." He went on:

"Sometimes, it's not that they just started it in high school or college, because they've actually needed to live a little and experience a little bit of life to identify where there are problems that need solving.

"For every Mark Zuckerberg and Facebook, there's 30 other entrepreneurs that started their business after working for several years."

In other words, coming up with a solid business idea — never mind actually building the business — probably takes more time than you think. A combination of patience and a can-do attitude is a must.

 

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Top 5 Startup Instant-Messaging Apps With Features to Help Boost Your Business

Can you remember when we used to communicate the old fashioned way? Phone conversations, faxes, and even emails have their disadvantages. You’re lucky you are now living in an age where instant messaging apps are taking over. Now it’s possible to reach out to people in seconds from a smartphone you can carry everywhere with you, and you won’t have to wait around to get what you want. In other words, the advantages of IM means you’ll be able to make a lot more money due to the extra time you will have available to focus on work.

The Huge Advantages of IM

A lot of businesses don’t yet know the full power of instant messaging. Everyone can appreciate they’ll be able to save a great deal of time, plus the convenience and price of the apps is easy to understand. What a lot of people running a business don’t realize is the added benefits you’ll find in lots of specialized apps at the time of writing. The IM startup scene has seen an explosion in the number of companies trying to stand out by focusing their efforts on small features certain businesses will find incredibly useful.

We’re going to look at the top five startups and you’ll find out what makes them so unique. You could also start using most of them for free right away.

Instant Messaging App 1 – MoneyMailMe

MoneyMailMe could possibly be the biggest thing to hit the FinTech industry since PayPal. Not only will you be able to communicate with people through the app, but you’ll be able to send money all over the world instantly from an e-wallet you will be able to top up. Businesses are now getting into the habit of using lots of contractors, especially if they’re small and unable to hire lots of full-time employees. It means the need for someone to carry out odd jobs is vital.  https://youtu.be/8LS2yCWlTtc

You could easily converse with contractors through MoneyMailMe, and when a job is complete it will take less than a minute to pay them. Everything will be logged on the app, so you’ll know exactly where your money went when it’s time to sort out your finances. It works in a number of different currencies and will take care of currency exchange rates. It’s also 100 percent secure, which you would expect whenever messages or money is being sent or received. A good time to migrate to MoneyMailMe from your existing app is now, particularly because its a great app and WhatsApp is selling-out its users by sharing their data with Facebook.

Instant Messaging App 2 – Google Allo

International Power is a very large power company based in London, and they discovered the executive team were spending an average of 1.5 hours per day using email. Can you imagine how much money a company wastes every year when all of their employees send and receive emails every day? Most of the time wasted is spent checking if they’ve received anything in the first place, which is why Google Allo is going to become a tremendous business app. Google Allo has the ability to connect directly with your Gmail account. https://youtu.be/v9n3drO4cOY

It means constantly checking for imaginary emails will become a thing of the past, because when you’re using Google Allo you’ll know when you receive anything. Smart Reply will also save you tons of time by learning how you communicate with people in order to do lots of the work for you. The Whisper/Shout feature is also perfect for businesses, because you need to know exactly what someone is saying and the ability to shrink or enlarge words to convey your message properly.

Instant Messaging App 3 – TexApp

There was an absolute uproar last year when hacked Sony emails found their way onto the web. Some of the emails contained damning conversations leaving a number of executives in a terrible situation. The only reason this happened in the first place was because they were silly enough to allow their communications to be hacked, which is where TexApp can swoop in and save the day. They claim to be the most secure instant messaging app available in the world. https://youtu.be/r4HQ8Bp-pfw

The level of encryption they use will ensure nobody will be able to get their hands on what your employees are talking about. This is ideal for anyone in general, but it will benefit those who have to discuss secretive things the most. If anyone can find out what you’re discussing it could cause a lot of damage to your business such as by people stealing your trade-secrets, so if you don’t want your secrets leaking out TexApp is a good choice. It also has a lovely user interface you’ll find easy to use when chatting.

Instant Messaging App 4 – Google Duo

Google Duo is another one of the apps Google has released to help cement their place as a powerhouse in the business world. Instead of speaking with someone through text you’ll be able to video call them, which is sometimes a lot more handy in certain situations. It’s good to look someone in the face when you’re speaking so you’ll see their facial expressions. The only downside is starting a conversation under less than ideal circumstances, but Google Duo will let you ignore someone by showing you what they’re doing before you answer. https://youtu.be/01qK94KBwY8

If they’re not on their own or it looks like they’re walking around in a busy street, you might decide to ignore them until they to reach out next time. Due to the fact Google Duo is based around video calling it’s the perfect way to stay in control. The app prides itself on being completely basic, so it won’t be another one of those you’ll need to spend time learning how to use. If you need to chat with someone face-to-face there are lots of options available, but none will let you get back to work quickly like this one.

Instant Messaging App 5 – Globr

CNN published a list of American companies exporting jobs to places like China, where it’s much cheaper to manufacture products among other things. Whether or not their findings will hurt the country isn’t the point, but it does tell you businesses will need to communicate with people from all over the world. It’s almost impossible to do business with anyone while keeping costs at their lowest if you can’t understand them. The Globr app will let you speak over instant messaging with foreigners and it will translate your words into their language.  https://youtu.be/Zo4yuLbflfQ

If you’re running a business you want to get the most out of your overseas contacts, then Globr is going to be the cheapest way you’ll be able to achieve it. It will mean you don’t need to send employees abroad as often to make sure your orders are being carried out correctly. Globr is also a great app for companies with plans to expand their business in the future, because sometimes the only thing stopping you is the fear of something going wrong due to a breakdown in communication.

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Everyone can do something to help Syrian kids get the childhoods they deserve. You can make a difference to Syrian children today. 

 

UNICEF USAVoice
Children First.  

Marion HartMarion Hart, UNICEF USA
What can you do to help Syrian children under attack? Quite a lot, it turns out.

Read our report on 6 years of #ChildrenUnderAttack.

“The depth of suffering is unprecedented. Millions of children in Syria come under attack on a daily basis, their lives turned upside down,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Each and every child is scarred for life with horrific consequences to their health, well-being and future.”

 

UNICEF USAVoice
Children First.  

Marion HartMarion Hart, UNICEF USA
What can you do to help Syrian children under attack? Quite a lot, it turns out.

Read our report on 6 years of #ChildrenUnderAttack.

“The depth of suffering is unprecedented. Millions of children in Syria come under attack on a daily basis, their lives turned upside down,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Each and every child is scarred for life with horrific consequences to their health, well-being and future.”

“I wanted to become a doctor but perhaps I won’t become anything, because our school was attacked," says 6-year old Ahmad. "We used to play a lot in the schoolyard, but now I’m afraid of coming here. My dad might take us to another school in another village.” ©UNICEF/2016/Syria/Idleb/Omar Alwan
“I wanted to become a doctor but perhaps I won’t become anything, because our school was attacked," says 6-year old Ahmad. "We used to play a lot in the schoolyard, but now I’m afraid of coming here. My dad might take us to another school in another village.”

1. DONATE TO HELP UNICEF PROTECT SYRIA'S CHILDREN. 

Syria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a child.  Nearly 1,300 children have been killed or injured during 2016 alone.

Inside Syria, 2.8 million children live under military siege or in hard-to-reach areas. At least 5 million Syrian children have fled their homes due to violence and war.  Some are sheltering in camps within Syria, while others live in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. More than 2.2 million Syrian children have also been forced to leave school.

In response, UNICEF has helped mobilize the largest humanitarian operation in history, supplying food, water, education, warm clothing and critical immunizations to millions of children and their families in Syria and neighboring countries.

But Syrian children urgently need more help. UNICEF is appealing for nearly $1.4 billion for Syrian children in 2017.

Support UNICEF's lifesaving work by making a donation to provide Syrian children with the help they need now.

2. JOIN OR START A FUNDRAISER TO AID SYRIAN KIDS.

Make a difference by starting your own fundraiser in support of UNICEF's campaign to aid the more than 8.4 million children who have been hurt by the Syria conflict. You can help save a child's life or give them hope and a chance for a better future.

Or donate to the Play For Syria Facebook Fundraiser, running through April 5, 2017 to coincide with March Madness, started by more than a dozen basketball players to support UNICEF programs for children in Syria and Syrian child refugees. Some of the players are American, some Syrian, some are former NBA, some former NCAA — but all have played ball in Syria. And all are deeply concerned for the children suffering there.

Learn more about the players and their fundraiser here, and help them spread the word by sharing their fundraiser with your networks!  https://www.unicefusa.org/stories/march-madness-unfolds-%E2%80%94-one-basketball-team-plays-syrian-kids/31997

 

UNICEF USAVoice
Children First.  

Marion HartMarion Hart, UNICEF USA
What can you do to help Syrian children under attack? Quite a lot, it turns out.

Read our report on 6 years of #ChildrenUnderAttack.

“The depth of suffering is unprecedented. Millions of children in Syria come under attack on a daily basis, their lives turned upside down,” said Geert Cappelaere, UNICEF Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa. “Each and every child is scarred for life with horrific consequences to their health, well-being and future.”

“I wanted to become a doctor but perhaps I won’t become anything, because our school was attacked," says 6-year old Ahmad. "We used to play a lot in the schoolyard, but now I’m afraid of coming here. My dad might take us to another school in another village.” ©UNICEF/2016/Syria/Idleb/Omar Alwan
“I wanted to become a doctor but perhaps I won’t become anything, because our school was attacked," says 6-year old Ahmad. "We used to play a lot in the schoolyard, but now I’m afraid of coming here. My dad might take us to another school in another village.”

1. DONATE TO HELP UNICEF PROTECT SYRIA'S CHILDREN. 

Syria is one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a child.  Nearly 1,300 children have been killed or injured during 2016 alone.

Inside Syria, 2.8 million children live under military siege or in hard-to-reach areas. At least 5 million Syrian children have fled their homes due to violence and war.  Some are sheltering in camps within Syria, while others live in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Egypt. More than 2.2 million Syrian children have also been forced to leave school.

In response, UNICEF has helped mobilize the largest humanitarian operation in history, supplying food, water, education, warm clothing and critical immunizations to millions of children and their families in Syria and neighboring countries.

But Syrian children urgently need more help. UNICEF is appealing for nearly $1.4 billion for Syrian children in 2017.

Support UNICEF's lifesaving work by making a donation to provide Syrian children with the help they need now.

Now 85 per cent of Syrians live below the poverty line. © UNICEF MENA
Now 85 percent of Syrians live below the poverty line.

2. JOIN OR START A FUNDRAISER TO AID SYRIAN KIDS.

Make a difference by starting your own fundraiser in support of UNICEF's campaign to aid the more than 8.4 million children who have been hurt by the Syria conflict. You can help save a child's life or give them hope and a chance for a better future.

Or donate to the Play For Syria Facebook Fundraiser, running through April 5, 2017 to coincide with March Madness, started by more than a dozen basketball players to support UNICEF programs for children in Syria and Syrian child refugees. Some of the players are American, some Syrian, some are former NBA, some former NCAA — but all have played ball in Syria. And all are deeply concerned for the children suffering there.

Learn more about the players and their fundraiser here, and help them spread the word by sharing their fundraiser with your networks!

Damond Williams celebrates after winning a championship with Aleppo's Al Jalaa team. © Damond Williams
Damond Williams celebrates after winning a championship with Aleppo's Al Jalaa team.

3. SHARE YOUR CONCERN. 

Share UNICEF's donation form for Syrian children or Facebook Fundraiser page on your social media channels, by email or even word of mouth.

Or, click here to voice your concern about the children of Syria by tweeting to your congressperson. http://www.soundoffatcongress.org/lcH4

You can be the spark others need to get involved.  The friends and colleagues you reach can exponentially increase your impact by spreading our message to their own social networks.

Everyone can do something to help Syrian kids get the childhoods they deserve. You can make a difference to Syrian children today. 

 

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

Give Them Their Daily Bread

God knew what I needed, even if I didn’t know myself.

Written by Hope on 12/05/2013
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Daily Bread, God, Jesus, Prayer, Service
"The Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.” (Romans 8:26)

More than once, I’ve been too upset or in too much pain to pray with words. However, I’ve never felt like God abandoned me; I never felt out of communion with Him. I felt like something in me was still calling to Him, even though I couldn’t even express what I needed. God knew what I needed, even if I didn’t know myself.

Daily Needs
One of the sentences Jesus taught His followers to pray was, “Give us today our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11) this can be a form of requesting that God meet all our needs. Of course, “bread” was not all Jesus ever asked the Father for; and we need more than just food. It’s so wonderful that the Bible gives us so many examples of Jesus praying, so we know that we, His followers, can also come to the Father with all our prayers.

Needing Salvation
Before He died, Jesus prayed, “for all who will ever believe in Me through [the Disciples’] message. … May they be in Us so that the world will believe You sent Me”(John 17:20-21). The most important thing every person needs is God’s salvation – the chance to know and live for Jesus. Many people do not know there is a God, let alone that they need the Lord.

Share Your Bread
When you share your faith with friends, they might not be able to tell you what they need. You can let them know that it’s okay not to know, that Jesus covered it in the Lord’s Prayer with “daily bread,” and that Jesus told His followers that the “Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask Him!”(Matthew 17:20-21) . Maybe your friends will let you pray over their needs – both spoken and unspoken – with them. What a great witness!

Prayer, Care and Share Jesus
If you cannot physically assist someone in need – Pray Now!

Scripture: " "Is anyone among you in trouble? Let him pray. … Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." (James 5:13, 16-17 NIV)

Sometimes we can’t solve the problems of people around us by using what we have. But we can go to our greatest resource – God. No matter what a person's problem is – fear about a test, money for a pressing need, a broken down car, illness – it can be brought before God in prayer.

Praying silently for someone's need is a good first step if you have not prayed out loud before. But our encouragement is to pray out loud when you can. Start today!

God gives great joy when you pray out loud with someone! For example, you can say: "Let's just ask God to help us with your need." Then pray briefly closing your prayer by saying, "in Jesus name."

Rarely will someone say "No" to your prayer offer. But if they do, just say: "OK". Then give a very friendly goodbye and pray silently for them as you walk away.

You will be amazed about the positive response of most people.

A Helpful Tip:Don’t worry if, at first, you feel you can’t ask people out loud to pray for them. Pray silently and ask the Lord to help you make the connection. The Lord helped me get over my fear to pray for a friend about a need. It was a “wow” moment. And from then on, I could do it more and more!

Pray this week:

You will have the courage to ask the person in need if you can pray for them about the issue.

It is easy to share our time, energy and money with people but harder to 'share the Good News'. Why do you think that is? What will you do to point the world to Jesus today? Not sure? Ask a Christian for help to learn more.

Visit the Kairos webiste https://cabinet.kairosplanet.com/register/#111b0e

Healing Stories in the Bible

Is it better to live with the disease or to be healed?

Written by Lois on 21/03/2017
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Grace, Healing, Mercy, Sickness, Sin
One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?'

John 5:5
In Bible times, leprosy was a dreaded, incurable skin condition. It caused physical deformity. It meant victims couldn’t come to worship meetings. They had to live by themselves. It made a good picture of what sin does to us. Sin is a disease that affects young and old, great and small. It cuts us off from God and from others.

Sometimes We’re Reluctant
The Old Testament book of 2 Kings tells about a man named Naaman. He was a great army captain in the time of the prophet Elisha. Naaman had been told the prophet could heal him of his leprosy, and paid him a visit. Instead of meeting him, Elisha sent a messenger instructing Naaman to wash himself in the Jordan River.

Naaman was insulted, saying, “I thought he would certainly come out to meet me!…Aren’t the rivers of Damascus (his home country)…better than any of the rivers of Israel?” (2 Kings 5:12)

Humility is Part of the Cure
At first, Naaman was too proud to accept Elisha’s “prescription.” In the same way, many people today let their pride stand in the way of accepting God’s plan of salvation.

It was a good thing that Naaman’s officers had better advice. They convinced him to take the treatment: “So Naaman went down to the Jordan River and dipped himself seven times, as the man of God had instructed him. And his skin became as healthy as the skin of a young child, and he was healed!” (2 Kings 5:14)

When You Hear His voice, Don't Harden Your Hearts (Hebrews 3:15)
From birth, we’re all “infected” with something worse than leprosy. It’s sin. It is our very nature, not just our actions, that offends God’s holiness. “You are not a God Who is pleased with what is bad. The sinful cannot be with You.” (Psalm 5:4)

What is the result of sin? “When sin completes its work, it brings death.” (James 1:15) — not just physical death, but eternal separation from God. When heaven is described in the Bible’s final book, it says, “No one who is sinful-minded or tells lies can go in.” (Revelation 21:27) Fortunately, this verse continues: “Only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life can go in.”

God’s way is not just the best way: it is the only way. Naaman’s leprosy was washed away when he humbled himself and submitted. Jesus, the Lamb of God, is willing to wash away your sin. Are you willing to trust Him today?

Pray this week:

Father, help me to be as concerned about my spiritual condition as my physical health, and also to tell others how their souls can be healed by Jesus.

If you have already been washed in the blood of the Lamb, can you tell others? If you’re intimidated, remember that it was a humble servant girl (2 Kings 5:2-4) who told the great general where to find healing!

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Entrepreneurs And Finance People Share DNA

Gone are the days where your average finance person was the stereotypical bean counter. Today they come in all sorts of shapes and forms and you will find that many of them are starting to show some DNA of an entrepreneur. Wow, did he just say that? I couldn’t think of two kinds of people that are more different. OK, hang on and let me try to explain. First, let’s just agree on what an entrepreneur really is.

“a person who sets up a business or businesses, taking on financial risks in the hope of profit.”
There are two main elements of above and then some other aspects that are not that well covered. 1) Someone who starts a business and 2) Someone who takes risks in hope of profit. I’ll give you that while there are finance people who set up businesses because they are also entrepreneurs then that’s not the main point as finance people, in general, are not people who set up businesses. As for the second point then there’s starting to more resemblance.

Risks vs. profits
At school, all finance students are taught about the relationship between risks and profits and how to balance them. A typical framework used is the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) which describes the relationship between the expected returns at any given risk profile.

So the balance between risk and returns is a finance person in a nutshell and a clear area where entrepreneurs need to also become more like finance people. If we continue to test that argument then let’s look at what’s missing from above definition. The idea! So in order to become an entrepreneur you typically need to have an idea. Entrepreneurs are full of these although it’s always harder to get idea #2 after you’ve made a living out of the first one. When it comes to finance people I always say that they don’t have to come up with the ideas but more need to be facilitators of ideas i.e. take them from the idea stage to something that gets executed on. But does it stop there? It shouldn’t. Finance people who truly know and understand business will be able to come up with just as many ideas as entrepreneurs. Finance people then have the added advantage that they are able to quantify and qualify the idea, create a business case and connect with the right people in a company or in the market to execute on it. Some entrepreneurs do this very well, of course, but I’d also say that here another area where entrepreneurs can learn from finance people.

Glorifying the finance person at the expense of the entrepreneur?
Right, if all finance people are so great at everything an entrepreneur does then why are they not all successful entrepreneurs? OK, so I might be glorifying the finance people a bit here and maybe what they lack is the true courage to jump into a business adventure, yet the evidence of sharing DNA is definitely still present. While they might not be bean counters anymore they are still a bit conservative and perhaps not willing to become entrepreneurs also. So if you can take the best of both you will get entrepreneurs that become better at managing risks for profits and managing the full cycle from idea to execution and delivery. What’s not to like about that? Then we can talk about what finance people can learn from entrepreneurs another day!

To stay updated on how Finance can help the business create value I would encourage you to follow my “value-series” where you can find past articles below. To be sure to stay informed about future articles you can either connect with me or join my group Finance Business Partner Forum. Last but not least you can also follow me on Twitter.

Finance Needs A 20/20 Vision On The Business

How Much Value Does Your Finance Job Create?

5 Ways For Finance To Start Adding Value Now!

Finance’s 5 Drivers Of Value Creation

How Can Finance Help The Business Add Value?

Don’t Measure Finance’s Value Creation

How To Become Great At Business Finance

We Need More Business In Business Finance

How Finance Business Partners Improve Company Performance

What Finance Business Partnering Really Is

How Finance Can Help When Business Is Bad

Anders Liu-Lindberg is the Senior Finance Business Partner for Maersk LineEurope Region and is working with the transformation of Finance and business on a daily basis. I have participated in several transformation processes among others helping Maersk Drilling to go Beyond Budgeting and transformed a finance team from Bean-counters to Business Partners. I would love the chance to collaborate with you on your own transformation processes to help you stay out of disruption. If you are looking for more advice on how to get the most of LinkedIn I also have a few tips to share as well as if you want help in your job search. Don’t be shy! Let’s get in touch and start helping each other.

Anders Liu-Lindberg Anders Liu-Lindberg
Senior Finance Business Partner • Maersk Line 

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While I Kept Partying, My Parents Kept Praying: Part 1

Everyone has to decide for themselves whether they are going to be followers of Christ.

Written by Luis Palau
Tags: Salvation, Testimony
This article was written by Andrew Palau.

Like all people, I had to decide for myself whether or not I was going to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My parents had hoped and prayed that I would make this decision as a child, but I did not. It took 27 years for me to finally decide for myself.

I grew up in a great Christian home. Mom and Dad loved me and were truly gentle parents. We went to a great church. Regardless of the tremendous blessings in my life, I wanted what the world had to offer. Although my father, international evangelist Luis Palau, preached to millions, he had no words that could humanly change my heart.

When I was about 12 or 13 years old, a friend’s older siblings introduced me to stuff that even the wilder kids weren’t doing. As time went on I began building a reputation of being the wildest and craziest kid around. I just loved to party… and drink… and smoke marijuana, which some say is the biggest cash crop in my home state of Oregon.

When my parents learned what I was doing, they couldn’t believe it. They were wise because they sought biblical counsel, and they understood that they could not convince me to live a godly lifestyle. They decided that the only thing they could do was to trust the Lord, model faith in the midst of trying circumstances, and do their best to live lives filled with the joy of the Lord.

It was very convicting as I watched them release me to God. “We love you,” they told me. “We’ve done our best, but we trust the Lord… The Holy Spirit is the One who convicts of sin and unrighteousness.” Dad and Mom kept praying for me; I kept partying.

Is there a loved one in your life who is far from God? Are you asking God how He would have you relate to this person, and relying on Him? What have you learned so far that may help others in this difficult situation?

Or is this a story that you can relate to?

Whatever your situation, talking to someone about what's going on can help

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Four Biblical Thoughts on Riches. Does God want us to be rich?

Does God want us to be rich?

Written by Dan Lee on 15/03/2015
Series: Weekly Devotional
Tags: Contentment, Finances, Money, Poor, Riches
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.” 1 Timothy 6:6

Are some preachers right when they say God wants us to be rich? They tell us we can get anything just by praying for it. Their lavish lifestyles seem to be an example of how God wants to “bless” us. Paul wrote a letter to Timothy and gave a strong NO to this idea. Here are 4 biblical thoughts on riches:

1. Be Content With God
“Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth” (1 Timothy 6:6). This verse tells us that if we are believers in Christ and have a good relationship with God, we should be satisfied. We are already wealthy. On the other hand, when we place anything, including material things, above God, we make idols out of them. How terrible it would be if following Jesus helped us only in this life! (1 Corinthians 15:19) God may use the resources of wealthy people. But James 1:9-11 reminds us that material wealth adds nothing to our value. (Luke 12:15)

2. Eternity is What Matters
Whether we are rich or poor, none of our earthly goods will go with us to Heaven. “After all, we brought nothing with us when we came into the world, and we can’t take anything with us when we leave it” (1 Timothy 6:7). The more we understand that Heaven is our true home, the less we will care about getting more stuff, and the more we will use our possessions for God’s glory. Then, we can be like the widow in Luke 21:1-4 who gave all she had and did not worry about what she kept for herself.

3. The Basics are Enough
The Bible talks about those whose "…thinking has been confused. They have lost their understanding of the truth. They think that devotion to God is a way to get rich.” (1 Timothy 6:5) However, Jesus warns how hard it is for rich people to follow Him (Matthew 19:16-26). But poverty does not measure godliness either. A great biblical model is the Apostle Paul, who said “So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content” (1 Timothy 6:8). We don’t need a lot of nice clothes, or to eat at fancy restaurants every day. We just need to work hard to provide for our families, and trust the Lord to meet our needs.

4. Riches Can Ruin Us
The Apostle Paul tells us the 10th Commandment, (“you shall not covet”), was the way God showed him the sin in his heart. (Romans 7:7) When we desire riches, it may lead us to lie, cheat or, in extreme cases, steal and murder! “People who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil . . .” (1 Timothy 6:9-10). But if we submit our lives to God and His Holy Spirit, He leads us to live in a way that helps and blesses others, and brings glory to Him.

Pray this week:

that God will help you use money and wealth to please Him

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