Elevating Your Finance Function: The Power of Personal Responsibility and Relationships

In the fast-paced corporate landscape of 2023, the role of finance is more crucial than ever. As finance professionals, we often find ourselves at a crossroads when confronted with colleagues making questionable financial decisions. The question then becomes, what steps should be taken to navigate this challenge and propel your finance function or career to new heights? In this article, we explore three distinct approaches, advocating for a conservative yet transformative mindset.

Option 1: Do Nothing

One tempting response to witnessing suboptimal financial decisions within your company is to simply do nothing. However, in our experience, approximately 10% of finance professionals choose this path. The passive approach may provide a temporary reprieve, but it fails to address the underlying issues that could potentially hinder the growth and success of the finance function.

Option 2: Tighten Control

Another common reaction is to assert more control over decisions and processes within the finance domain. This approach is adopted by less than 10% of finance professionals. While it may seem like a proactive stance, it often leads to a disconnect between finance and other business units. Deciding that finance needs to take more control can inadvertently create an environment of tension and resistance, hindering collaboration.

Option 3: Introspection and Change

A conservative yet transformative option is to take a long, hard look in the mirror and acknowledge that something might be amiss within the finance function itself. Surprisingly, less than 10% of finance professionals opt for this path. This self-reflective approach involves admitting that there may be room for improvement within the finance team and actively seeking solutions to enhance performance.

The Blame Game: A Common Pitfall

A significant majority—over 80%—of finance professionals tend to take a different route. Instead of introspection, they attempt to take control and, in the process, shift blame onto “the business” for not heeding or engaging with finance. This blame game not only fosters an unhealthy work environment but also contributes to the struggle for relevance faced by many finance functions and individuals in 2023.

The Key to Success: Personal Power

To truly elevate your finance function or career, the most valuable skill you can cultivate is personal power. And where does personal power come from? Relationships. Think of relationships as the most powerful, potent plug-in for Excel, surpassing even the capabilities of Power-BI.

Developing Personal Power Through Relationships

Investing time and effort into building strong, collaborative relationships across departments is akin to installing a powerful module that enhances your professional capabilities. Establishing rapport and open communication channels can bridge the gap between finance and other business units, fostering a culture of collaboration and mutual understanding.

In conclusion, the journey to success in the finance realm requires a conservative yet forward-thinking approach. Instead of playing the blame game or imposing control, consider the transformative power of introspection and the cultivation of personal power through meaningful relationships. By doing so, you can position yourself and your finance function for sustained relevance and success in the dynamic corporate landscape of 2023 and beyond.

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