Finances, War, the Cicada and the Ant by Jean de La Fontaine.

On a business context, we learned long ago that it is important to live below our capabilities.

Use times of peace to prepare for times of war. Create alternatives for less good times.

Belmiro de Azevedo used to say that “there were no defeats or definitive victories”. Good days are ephemeral.

This serves to say that those who project their activity to the best of idyllic scenarios end up creating a set of financial responsibilities that they will not be able to bear, if the context changes enough.

History is so full of sad business stories that we have real difficulty in understanding how there are still those who cannot or do not want to see it.

Sustainable and responsible financial management starts with the projection of cash-flows based on common sense, objective past evidence and future trends that may have some basis.

The finance function has to be holistic, walk the floor and be part of the solutions. It cannot behave like a journalist or a bench coach. It is there to help make it happen. The finance role also has to perform as a reference for morality, credibility, objectivity and sometimes of independence, but it needs to have nerves of steel and feet of cement when they try to condition it.

There are truths in finance that are true in any industry. “Lapalician”, perhaps. Which only increases our amazement at the number of times we see these crystal clear principles being, in practice, challenged.

Finances are for the ant of Aesop and La Fontaine. They are not for the cicadas of this life.
Aesop knew it all.

Luís Barbosa
Financial Architect
ABC Sustainable Luxury Hospitality
Proud Ambassador Global Wellness Institute

Financial Wisdom | Key Strokes: Rigor, Transformation, Making it Happen

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