Make your choice

12 March 2010
At the Economist CFO conference last week, Barclays CFO Chris Lucas discussed how the pace of decision-making has changed as a result of the financial crisis. “There’s probably in anybody’s career six or thereabouts really important decisions that you make. It feels to me that we have probably had those six decisions that would normally be in a career in the last few years,” he said. I thought this was an interesting suggestion, and I’m sure many of his fellow finance chiefs in the room and you reading this now can think of decisions you have made in your own career, for better or worse, that have affected its course. But, he says, these choices have greater implications at the moment. “Allied to those decisions it usually takes you about six years to know whether those decisions are right or wrong, and that has an enormous benefit for the people who made those decisions [because they] are not usually there to pick them up. I think the evidence [of] the rightness and wrongness of those decisions has probably been identified within six months.” Do you agree with his summary of events? Are you reaping (or suffering) the consequences of decisions made six months ago?
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