In the latest blog in my ‘questions that the c-suite need answers to’ I am exploring the importance of an experienced finance transformation leader.
It’s a question I am asked frequently, and it usually comes down to short-term budget constraints. A leader without experience of a Finance Transformation programme but has a strong foundation in finance, leadership skills, and adaptability can be successful (and command a lower day rate!), but it carries risk and can extend a project.
In my own experience this is why a demonstrable track record is so important:
Reliable knowledge removes a lot of the ‘what ifs’
A leader with previous experience in finance transformation brings in-depth knowledge and expertise in managing the complexities and challenges associated with a programme. They understand the nuances of finance processes, systems, and technologies, allowing them to make informed decisions and navigate potential pitfalls.
Lessons have already been learned
Mistakes can be expensive. A leader with experience has a list of proven strategies, methodologies, and approaches that will help them avoid the common mistakes that can slow down a transformation journey.
Change management can cause wider issues
Finance transformation involves significant change management efforts, including organisational change, process reengineering, and technology adoption. An experienced leader understands the human aspect of a programme and how best to limit disruption.
If the programme is likely to be faced with sceptics and resistance, a leader with a track record can provide a lot more confidence in the process. They know what to say, the expectations that need to be set, and the concerns that they need to address… before they become a problem!
I’m not saying that you cannot deliver a successful Finance Transformation programme without an experienced leader, but it removes a lot of risk and can reduce the cost of the programme if you have one at the helm.