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... 

It’s Time for CFOs to Leverage Transformational Planning

It’s Time for CFOs to Leverage Transformational Planning
It’s Time for CFOs to Leverage Transformational Planning
Written by Heather Cole, September 2nd 2021

The world has changed.  Organizations of every size are being forced to rapidly adjust to the new world where distribution challenges are the norm and employee retention is top of mind.  The uncertain world is forcing companies to create a transformation strategy.  I believe this needs to start with the CFO.  It’s Time for CFO’s to Leverage Transformational Planning.

What is Transformational Planning? 

At Lodestar Solutions we define Transformational Planning as a connected approach to financial planning, forecasting and even budgeting where data from different sources is consolidated in real-time. Then business users, finance and beyond can model and compare scenarios, identify trends, and create rolling forecasts to enable the CFO and other executives to anticipate the changes and respond quickly. 

CFO’s may not have heard of Transformational Planning because, well we created the term at Lodestar Solutions when we were brainstorming the challenges and how IBM Planning Analytics is so underutilized.  But it’s not just IBM Planning Analytics customers that haven’t realized they need to look at planning differently.  Finance departments everywhere are not pivoting to look beyond financial planning to incorporate all the areas of the organization. 

Challenge to Realize Transformational Planning

According to a Forbes article, Uncertainty Underscores CFO’s Role to Drive Digital Transformation. 

For many companies, “a reliance on antiquated tools can stand in the way of digital reinvention which could lead to missed opportunities or inaccurate forecasts that undermine performance.”  If you are an IBM Planning Analytics client that has not upgraded and started to leverage the amazing new functionality of IBM Planning Analytics I would put you in this category too.  

IBM Planning Analytics and Transformational Planning

Great news for IBM Planning Analytics clients!  The latest version of Planning Analytics is designed for Transformational Planning.  Unlike some competitive solutions, IBM Planning Analytics is not just for finance.  Clients that leverage IBM Planning Analytics for areas beyond finance like HR, Marketing, Inventory and even to model acquisitions will be able to pivot and benefit from Transitional Planning, thus giving them a leg up on competition.  In the uncertain world its essential for team members to modify how they look at their data on the fly, in real-time without rebuilding their models. The newer functionality in IBM Planning Analytics, like virtual dimensions, allows this flexibility and more.  And the best part is the IBM Planning Analytics solutions does not require additional modules to deliver robust planning and forecasting for all areas on your business.

For more, here’s a blog, Guide to Creating a Virtual Hierarchy for reference.

Additionally here’s a link to our blog on, What’s New in IBM Planning Analytics Workspace Version 64, 65 and 66?

Where Transformational Planning Starts

Transformational Planning Starts with the CFO

For an organization to move to a transformational planning process, it must start with the CFO.  According to an article in McKinsey Special Collection The Role of the CFO, Why CFOs need a bigger role in business transformations, “without the CFO’s leadership, certain key elements of the transformation are likely to receive short shrift: performance efforts will lack a meaningful benchmark to gauge success, managers will be tempted to focus on the biggest or most visible projects instead of those that promise the highest value, and expected transformation benefits won’t make it to the bottom line.”   It’s Time for CFO’s to Leverage Transformational Planning.

How to Start the Journey

Are you wondering where to start on the road to Transformational Planning?  Well over the next few weeks Lodestar Solutions will share tips on how to start this game changing adventure.  The first step is committing to learn a better way and exploring how Transformational Planning will benefit your organization! 

On November 18th, 2021 at 11 am Eastern Lodestar will be hosting a webinar.

Mastering Transformational Planning: Why CFOs Should Lead this Initiative? 

Transformational Planning is a connected approach to financial planning, forecasting and even budgeting where data from different sources is consolidated in real-time. Then business users, finance and beyond can model and compare scenarios, identify trends, and create rolling forecasts to enable the CFO and other executives to anticipate the changes and respond quickly.

In this webinar you will learn:


Why every CFO must discover and lead Transformational Planning,
How to move your organization to Transformational Planning
and more.

To Register for this complimentary webinar click here.

If you have questions about Transformational Planning reach out to us at Services@lodestarsolutions.com to schedule a chat. 

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