Long gone are the days where finance was only the domain of number-crunching and keeping the company finances in order. Companies now want and increasingly expect their financial leaders to be strategically impactful and versatile, while also being strong communicators. These traits were not associated with the finance department in the past.
Business leaders need to be aware that the finance function is evolving and taking a more strategic approach to their overall processes. Because of the uncertainty brought on by constant market changes, founders and CFOs alike are shifting their strategy to prioritize a more holistic approach to support organizational growth. One of the most important aspects that is now taking center stage is culture and its overall impact on the finance team.
Company culture is like fireworks. It can only work if it has a reliable source of fuel and enough power to really make an impact. Yet, if it has poor design or execution, then the spark will never ignite and create something truly magical. The same goes for culture. Intentionally prioritizing a strategy around culture from the very beginning helps build a solid foundation and a healthy environment for all teams to flourish.
It’s not uncommon for a company to fail due to an unsustainable and unsupportive environment. Whether you are a founder of a company or a manager of a team, it is essential that all leaders within an organization understand how culture can make or break the entire company.
Below, we dive into some of the top tips on how to create a flourishing work environment that not only supports the finance team, but the company at large.
1. Fully embrace change
Change is rarely easy for companies to implement. This is especially true for industries and professions that are reticent to change, such as finance. However, there is an increasing urgency to adapt and keep up with the times, or risk getting left behind. As a result, companies are working hard on transforming their culture into one that not only embraces but expects constant change. This mentality shift is the critical bedrock for achieving business goals today.
2. Digital mindset at all times
Out with the legacy and in with the digital, companies are focusing resources on upgrading their tech stacks. With the increasing awareness of conventional systems’ shortcomings, businesses are more eager to incorporate new tech-led solutions. Thus, being part of a successful enterprise these days means ensuring that all teams are fully embracing a digital environment.
3. Interdepartmental collaboration
Siloing departments into their own respective functions is no longer possible if a company wants to perform at an optimal level. To drive organizational performance from the unique position of finance, the CFO and their team must understand each department and its inner workings on an intimate level. In addition, this cross-functional collaboration improves relationships among team members and helps align each individual on shared organizational goals.
How the strategic finance team can help shape a great company culture
Organizations are more and more reliant on their financial departments to lead them from the front with optimal strategic financial management. But for this to happen, companies must interconnect a series of elements if they want to create a culture where all teams have the opportunity to thrive.
These include hiring the right people, investing in strategy-focused training, committing to technological innovation investment that facilitates optimal strategy execution, and designing the kind of workflow process that positions the team to shine.
By hiring the right people for strategic finance roles, leaders can ensure that their cross-functional needs are being met, and the organization as a whole has the proper understanding of how to help drive growth as one team.
The must-haves all finance leaders should focus on
Leading the organizational strategy is a significant challenge for scaling finance teams. Identifying and hiring the best financial talent in a competitive market is already a tough job. On top of this, hiring has become even more difficult by the need to engage qualified professionals with proven strategic skills.
The risk of hiring the wrong team members will have a trickle-down effect on the company culture. Finance professionals not only need to do their core job, but they must also be able to communicate well with other departments to pull in the same direction and keep their company's best interests front of mind.
Besides, finance leaders should focus on empowering finance department employees to take on more strategic responsibilities. This is crucial to strike the right balance while creating a company culture focused on organizational vision and strategy. Also, for a scaling team, building a working system with strategic finance at its core should be the primary business goal.
How to invest now to shape tomorrow's success
To streamline your current strategic finance processes and empower finance experts to do their best work, you need to make technology integration and training easy.
Advanced FP&A capabilities can enhance your team’s optimal execution, as well as merge data from all departments. Our financial planning and analysis software enables collaboration, so everyone can come together to plan, report, analyze and share.
If you want to build the right business environment to boost your finance team performance, request a demo today.
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