Managing the End of Globalisation as We Know It
A philosopher and photographer, Jonas Falk, Head of Risk and Operations at SKF, a leading global supplier of solutions for rotating equipment, is not your traditional treasurer. Here, he reflects on the many hurdles he and his team faced in centralising the group’s treasury operations during the pandemic. Looking ahead, he also highlights some of the major challenges facing treasurers, not least the implications of deglobalisation and the regionalisation of trade.
After a tumultuous few years for the global economy and the outlook still decidedly uncertain, it perhaps helps to be a little philosophical – especially if you are a hard-pressed treasurer at the sharp end of overseeing a company’s financial affairs. Jonas Falk certainly advocates staying calm when dealing with tough situations and, as a keen student of philosophy, he recommends delving into the discipline itself for valuable, enlightened approaches to life and work.
While he regards himself as very much a beginner in exploring the vast terrain that is philosophy, he believes it has helped to make him a better thinker and develop reasoning skills and strategies that are transferable to other areas, not least his work.
He says: “Philosophy can be very intellectually addictive. Some might regard it as idle navel gazing but I, and many others, believe studying it can only be beneficial. It covers an astonishing range of areas but I feel that just by dipping into one or two topics in my leisure time – moral and political philosophy for instance – it has made me a better thinker and a better treasurer. It is about critical thinking, logical analysis and strategising but also communication skills, including developing the ability to defend your views against others. These are the kind of skills that are valuable irrespective of profession or walk of life.”