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Creating & Communicating a Financial Mission….

October 13th, 2009 Comments off

            Yesterday I was speaking with some peers that work in the same industry that Osiris is in and we touched on the topic of the difficulty of developing and communicating a financial vision & strategy for a company where this element was noticeably absent, or weak. Part of the concern was that their organization had a deep-rooted history of success, but in the more recent Quarters, was not performing to historical standards and the company really needed to implement more in-depth reporting to support a new level of decision making in the organization. How do you implement such a critical new element in the face of strong personalities and individuals who are not accustomed to being second guessed?

            Great question….and not to mention, quite the dilemma. For whatever reason, I’ve become the go-to guy for these projects in previous organizations, and the reason for which I was brought into my current company. As was discussed yesterday, there are the strict standards that have to be communicated in the reporting of a company’s financials, however, there are multitudes of gray when communicating with the different functional areas when qualifying the results or developing the Budget for the coming season.  Every company is going to have their “Rock Stars” within each of the function areas. Whether this is Sales, Marketing, Engineering, or R&D, it’s imperative to know what motivates and drives each one of these respective groups. It’s important to know if they really understand how their areas impact the financial results of the company. It’s absolutely imperative that they are engaged in a collaborative way to share information, to educate them about how their actions affect the financial results, as well as understanding what they need to accomplish their departmental goals.

 

Ø  Have they previously worked in a very narrow scope / silo-type organization without any accountability?

Ø  Has there previously been a collaborative approach in the development and sharing of company financial information?

Ø  Are the employees clear about what the financial goals are for the organization? Is there a financial mission that has been communicated?

Ø  Are there metrics in place so that employees can see the progress being made and that their efforts to partner with Finance are producing results?

Ø  Is your approach to working with other departments viewed as a burden with more work to prepare or are you viewed as a support structure providing a valuable resource?

Ø  Are you capable of developing a level of reporting and metrics that will satisfy the reporting needs of the company?

 

            The considerations are endless, but it all comes down to the basic element of communication and knowing how to adjust your message and mission to the different functional areas that you need to deal with.  There’s also the need to know that there is an acceptable pace of change and that change is not going to happen overnight. However, the change does need to happen and it needs to be tracked to ensure that forward progress is being achieved. You also need to ask yourself if you have the experience and skillset to quickly assess the environment and needs of the company in the development of the mission. For a company that has a multitude of  “Rock Stars”, the need to establish credibility is critical and must happen quickly.  No doubt a challenge, but always a worthwhile challenge to take on….

 

Thanks for reading . . . .

 

Jeffrey Ishmael