Oct 21 2020

Step 1: Refocus Mindset and Culture

In times like these, the ability for a business to adapt to changing conditions is pivotal for survival. There are challenges emerging on a daily basis and new problems to be overcome. The organizations that look forward, continue to adapt and change their business operations with the environment are the ones that will prevail.

Refocus Mindset and Culture

It has been well documented that organizations locked into traditional ways of working experienced the most pain and incurred more costs when enabling their employees to work from home, at the beginning of the global pandemic.

Many of these companies had maintained a fixed mindset as to how employees should operate and this hampered their ability to adapt quickly, when the time came.

Building a culture of continuous small improvements to how people approach their work helps to instill a progressive mindset that will support a business during periods of significant change. As with many things in business, the fundamental elements of continuous improvement typically include people, processes and technology.

A Vision for Change

It may (or may not) be surprising to know that Finance departments are far from being fully automated in the main, with most finance leaders still spending the largest percentage of their time using spreadsheets. This EY Financial Services survey noted that 87% of CFOs do not have a high level of automation in the analysis, reporting and reconciliation functions of their organization.

It’s about Data not Systems

Success comes from communicating the benefits of change to the organization, upfront. The message is that traditional processes, built around Excel spreadsheets and email, for example, are not the most efficient way for employees to work; that data is now a businesses’ biggest asset and leveraging it properly through digital process change will make people’s jobs easier and make the business more profitable.

While many CFOs believe legacy technology and systems complexity are the primary barrier to transforming their finance function, the important thing to understand is that it’s all about data, not systems.

Data is a businesses’ biggest asset and leveraging it properly through digital process change will make people’s jobs easier...and the business more profitable.

Augmenting not Replacing

Some part of people’s jobs may become less important over time. Acknowledging this provides workers with an opportunity to look beyond what they are doing today. This mindset can lead them to move into roles that deliver more value to the business and more benefits for themselves, in terms of monetary rewards and job satisfaction.

As a leader, it is important to counter fears stoked by scare stories in the media about ‘robots taking jobs’ with the much more positive reality. People aren’t going anywhere. Digitalization and automation are about assisting people in what they do; not replacing them. Just like ‘Alexa’ or ‘Siri’ assist people at home with simple tasks, automation in the workplace is here to help – not take over.

More about this topic and the four steps to overcome new challenges and make the business more competitive in contained in this CFO Guide. Download the complete guide on transformation

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