CFOs are accountable for well-informed decision making in their organisations, therefore are key to successfully navigating these problems. To fulfil this responsibility in today’s fast-changing and complex world, CFOs need to change their mode of operation. 

Consider the approach needed to navigate the challenge of transforming business models to execute sustainability-led strategies of redesigning processes and systems to fulfil fast-evolving sustainability reporting and assurance requirements. Today, such challenges arise against a backdrop of limited financial resources as well as human and natural resources – the long-term survival and success of business can no longer be assured with a narrow focus on financial return alone. 

Hear from Raymond Jack, CFO of ACCA


What is a complex multi-dimensional problem?

Complex multi-dimensional problems are problems that often:

  • are difficult to define
  • involve complex systems
  • are difficult to approach, and
  • are such that it is difficult to know when you have fully solved them. 

This guide explains the five must have integrative-thinking capabilities of the individual CFO or senior accountancy professional, and details how they are required for impact in navigating complex multi-dimensional problems, which are also explained.



Thereafter, the guide provides insight on the six approaches professionals, organisations and educators should take to develop their integrative-thinking capabilities.

1. Understand your innovating and problem-solving capabilities

2. Challenge the organisation’s cultural ecosystem and the profession’s culture

3. Embark on shared learning

4. Explore your capabilities with immersive and challenging exercises

5. Properly reflect in the cycle of ‘plan-do-reflect-plan’

6. Engage in developmental programmes.