Finance Must lead Business Transformation Before Someone Else Does

Finance Must Lead Business Transformation Before Someone Else Does
Finance Must Lead Business Transformation Before Someone Else Does
Written by Heather L. Cole, September 17th 2021

Do you think the world changed in the last year?  If you say no, I am really curious where you have been hiding.  But of course, the world changed and organizations had to learn to pivot rapidly to survive or thrive depending on the industry.  What became very obvious was Finance teams were busy doing “co-vid” forecasts, what if modeling and working with data in creative new ways.  Why were they so busy?  Finance is the cornerstone for measuring and determining if we are making money.  So, as the world changed almost overnight, finance was leading the effort to analyze, plan and predict what would happen next.  If we learned anything in the last 18 months, it’s that we must continue to transform.  A key component to business transformation is transformational planning, which finance must lead before someone else does. 

Business Transformation

Business transformation is a broad term for making changes in how a business or organization runs. This includes people, processes, and technology.  The goal of business transformation is to allow the organization to compete more effectively, become more efficient, or take advantage of marketplace opportunities.

Transformation Doesn’t Have to be Seismic 

A lot of experts state the transformation should be seismic, massive, but I disagree.  You don’t win a baseball game on homeruns.  You win on base hits.  Similarly small incremental changes can produce major wins for your organization.  

According to the Harvard Business Review blog, Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail ,one of the reasons transformation fails, is by Not Systematically Planning For and Creating Short-Term Wins.

Business transformation takes time, and if there are no short-term goals to meet and celebrate the initiative can lose momentum.  So, like every athlete who is trying to improve knows, you can’t just look at the score, you must measure the areas you are wishing to improve.  You must keep stats on the items you can act on daily or monthly to change how you play the game.  That’s where finance comes in.

Business Transformation Starts with Base Hits

Finance Keeps Score

Finance has always been score keepers.  Who better to create measures and metrics to determine how an organization is performing on their goals?  Like baseball, businesses have many stats they need to track to determine how to increase efficiency.  That’s were Transformational Planning comes in.

Transformational Planning

Transformational Planning is as a connected approach to financial planning, forecasting and even budgeting where data from different sources is consolidated in real-time, to support the organizations transformation efforts.  With Transformational Planning, business users, finance and beyond can model and compare scenarios, identify trends, and create rolling forecasts to enable the CFO and other executives to measure the results of transformation.  This allows them to anticipate the changes and respond quickly when the world changes.

Why is it important for finance to lead business Transformation?

The CFO must lead before someone else does!  Yes, that’s right CEOs in every industry are exploring and hiring a Chief Transformation Officer.  This is a person that comes in, often from the outside and is tasked with leading the business transformation effort.  What happens to the CFO and the finance team then?  They may be left with only supporting the transactions and auditing the transformation’s results.  If CFOs want to be more influential, they must level up and take a Transformational Leader role.

What is a Transformational Leader?

Transformational leaders  focus less on making decisions or establishing strategic plans, and more on facilitating organizational collaboration that can help drive a vision forward.

According to the blog The Path to Becoming a Transformational Finance Leader, “The career path to reach the CFO’s seat is no longer a climb up a fairly well defined ladder but a broad exploration.  A transformational finance leader adds the ability to drive strategy and influence operations overall.  And that means proactively redefining how we think about elements of the business beyond financial performance.”

Are you ready to become a Transformational Leader?

Are you wondering how you become the transformational leader?  Lodestar Solutions is here to help!  You might want to check out our blog, It’s Time for CFOs to Leverage Transformational Planning. 

But more importantly enroll in our complimentary webinar,
Mastering Transformational Planning: Why CFOs Should Lead this Initiative?
Thursday, November 18th from 10:30am-noon Eastern.

Mastering Transformational Planning: Why CFOs Should Lead this Initiative?

In this webinar you will discover:
  • Why every CFO must discover and lead Transformational Planning
  • How to identify where the quick wins are in your organization
  • How to move your organization to Transformational Planning
  • How to find more time for Transformation Initiatives
  • And more...