Virtual Conference Leadership Sessions

Below are the current leadership sessions for GFOA's Virtual Conference.

Promoting Trust and Respect with Design Thinking

GFOA’s Financial Foundations Framework encourages organizations to “treat everyone fairly” in order to promote mutual trust and respect. Unfortunately, this is often easier said than done. Design thinking is a method for putting people first in how process and products are put together. Organizations have used this collaborative approach to address many different types of problems. We also know that building trust starts with people. In this session, learn how you can apply the principles of design thinking to develop policy solutions, improve processes, create a culture of collaboration, and promote mutual trust and respect in your organization.

Date and Time: July 13, 11 a.m. (Eastern)

It's Not All About the Numbers: Important Leadership Skills for the Finance Officer

Finance officers can often take comfort focusing on the detailed aspects of numbers, spreadsheets, financial statements, and accounting standards. Formal training to become a finance officer focuses on technical skills and organizations rely on application of those technical capabilities. However, to be truly effective and best serve our organizations and communities, finance officers needs to develop their leadership skills in the same way - training and practice. In this session, speakers will highlight essential leadership skills for finance officers and how you can build these skills through a combination of formal training, ongoing practice, and experience.

Date and Time: July 19, 2 p.m. (Eastern)

Chefs vs. Cooks: Applying a Problem Solving Approach to Public Finance

Within their organizations, GFOA believes finance officers should approach their jobs like chefs (innovating, experimenting, and strategizing), rather than like cooks, (following a strict protocol to produce a pre-determined outcome). A finance officer who operates like a chef is well-positioned to lead the organization through different types of challenges, serving as a problem solver to best apply a range of skills across a variety of current demands. In this session, learn how you can change your approach to "cooking,” better leverage your skills, and increase your value to the organization.

Date and Time: July 20, 11 a.m. (Eastern)

Know Your Why: Connecting with the Community

With a focus on tasks and transactions, it can be easy to get lost in financial reports, budget documents, cash receipts, and continuing disclosures and not see the larger impact that the finance office can have on the community. In this session speakers will explain the importance of seeing the big picture and understanding how to connect and define the role of finance with the purpose of government and the outcomes it works to achieve. From there, finance officers can emerge as a leader, better coordinate resources, and understand the implications of certain financial policies and actions on overall community values like trust, equity, and engagement.

Date and Time: July 21, 11 a.m. (Eastern)

Time to Talk Equity: When, How, and Why to Have the Discussion

Finance officers are stewards of their community, helping to allocate resources and manage implementation of programs and services. Increasingly, conversations on results have included an equity lens. What is equity and what does it mean for public finance? In this session, hear from finance officers on how they have embraced equity into their operating vernacular, built and continue to build an awareness around implicit bias, and recognize the challenges in focusing on the topic. In addition, speakers will provide guidance to help you include an equity focus in your organization - when to introduce equity, how to best communicate equity issues, and why it matters.

Date and Time: July 23, 11 a.m. (Eastern)