A Client Case Study
The client, the Chief Financial Officer of a firm with 6500 employees worldwide, developed a new strategy to transform the approximately 100-person Finance function from a traditional accounting and transaction processing department, to value-adding business partners. This represented a culture change for most within the Finance function, as well as their internal customers.
Following the implementation of a new organisational structure and injection of new talent into the senior management team, day-to-day “busy-ness” took over, and progress on implementing the strategy became ad hoc.
Stephanie Owen from Strategy2Life worked with the CFO and Finance leadership team to mobilise the strategy by clarifying the vision, establishing a roadmap, and setting up execution governance:
- Clarifying and defining the change vision including desired culture, mindset and behaviours
- Establishing a baseline measure of execution progress
- Establishing a management framework, processes and tools to provide sufficient discipline to prioritise, plan and track initiatives without being too onerous in an operationally-driven environment
- Revamping the structure of regular management meetings to address a balance of operational and strategic issues, and improve communication across Finance functions, geographies and the business
- Facilitating the development of the first risk register for the function
- Developing tangible plans, metrics, initiatives, and change management activities to support strategy execution
In order to manage the people side of change, Stephanie worked with the CFO and Finance leadership team to develop and implement a change management strategy targeting key stakeholder groups (finance managers and the leadership team, internal customers, and the organisation’s senior management). Some of the change management initiatives were as follows:
- Conducting a survey of key internal customers on their perception of the relative importance of finance services and the function’s current performance in each
- Re-designing the annual strategic conference format to help all finance managers understand the strategy and its implications, facilitate cross-pollination of ideas, improve engagement, joint problem-solving, and ownership
- Re-designing the format of regular management reports in order to improve accountability, build execution capability, and balance operational issues and strategic progress
- Inviting key internal customers to a panel discussion attended by most Finance managers, about how Finance could add the most value to the business
- Identifying priority leadership capability development needs to support anticipated organisational growth
- Redesigning the regular reports to the CEO, Board, and senior management team to streamline messages and include progress on the strategy execution and service improvements.
The strategy mobilisation activities provided the structures and processes that enabled the leadership team to implement, track, and re-prioritise strategic initiatives completely in-house, without additional consultants and external resources. Additionally, the change management activities built and maintained support for the strategy, and helped key stakeholder groups move towards the desired future state.
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