Your results

Your style

Your style today is mainly

foo

You’re an expert in data. You know how to filter out the noise and focus on the most important elements. You eliminate bias and search for cause over correlation.

You translate the data into valuable information. You bring numbers to life, creating immersive dashboards visualising the most important KPI trends.

You turn information into insight, earning your seat around the table. You have built strong trust, giving you the opportunity to influence key business decisions.

You bring a fresh perspective to your function and strategic agenda, changing the game. Seen as a genuine peer, you have transcended finance to become a business leader.

Your strengths

  • It probably means you are a solid accountant, in control of the numbers.
  • This is really the start of your finance business partnering journey.
  • You’re more likely to send a report by email than pick up the phone or go and see someone.
  • You probably don’t enjoy presenting and you may even actively avoid it.
  • Decisions tend to happen around you and you may find you’re the last to know.
  • You’d probably like to be more involved in decision making but if you’re honest you may not know where to start.
  • You may find yourself wishing that you had more authority so people would listen to you.
  • This is good because this is where business partnering starts to happen. It means you’ve got a good base to work from, because the next level is The Coach and that’s where business partnering is really happening!
  • You’ve probably already learned that email is largely a waste of time when it comes to communication and influence.
  • You know that the more you speak to people in person, the better your relationships get.
  • And you’ve probably also realised that when you talk people through the work you’ve done in person they really take it on board.
  • If you’re honest your reports and presentations are still quite table heavy, but you are visualising the data too.
  • You may find you struggle to challenge, and when you do people dismiss your views or tell you that you’re not ‘commercial’.
  • And while you get invited to the formal meetings, you aren’t always involved in the informal chats and discussions – which is where the real decisions are actually made.

That’s great because this is where business partnering really happens.

Accountants tell people what happened last month or last quarter. Or they tell people what they forecast will happen next month or quarter.

But business partners coach people to help them answer the question so what! Business partnering really is about being a coach.

You’ve probably worked out that to coach and therefore influence you need to be present, visible and available.

So you actively seek opportunities to spend time with and present to people, knowing that this is your number 1 opportunity to influence.

You probably feel confident selling your ideas, by concentrating on what’s in it for your audience rather than you.

And you’ve probably realised that giving people options really helps them make decisions.

You’ve also learned that telling people what to do doesn’t work and instead you coach them.

And when it comes to your reports and presentations, they are short, to the point, with minimal numbers.

  • You’ve transcended finance and are seen as a broad commercial leader.
  • This probably means you’ve spent some time in roles outside of finance, and if you haven’t – you should!
  • You are actively sought out because people trust you and know you can help them resolve their biggest challenges.
  • And as a leader you are thinking to the future and asking what next!
  • You focus on the market, customers and competitors, and how we can take the organisation to the next level.
  • You use engaging stories to present and sell your ideas, taking your audience on a journey.
  • You have mastered building rapport, establishing needs and selling solutions. You challenge elegantly, avoid conflict

Your personal development plan

The next level for you is to move to be The Dashboard. This is where business partnering really starts to take off. Here’s some tips to get you started:

1. Get to know people you work with better on a personal and professional level.

Click here to learn how to build rapport fast

2. Stop using email so much and pick up the phone. Ideally speak to people face to face.

3. Stop using so many tables of numbers and make your reports and presentations more visual

Click here to learn an alternative to tables of numbers

Click here to learn how to bring context to your numbers

Your personal development plan

The good news is that you are not far from joining the 10% of people who score The Coach. Here’s some ideas to get you started:

1. Get to know people even better, and find out what they want and need. Go for more coffee and spend less time at your computer. Find out how you can help them.

Click here to learn how to build rapport fast

2. Ditch the tables of numbers and focus on high impact visuals that deliver 3 key messages. Keep your reports and presentations under 5 slides.

Click here to learn an alternative to tables of numbers

Click here to learn how to bring context to your numbers

3. Challenging directly and adopt a more coaching approach, asking people questions to help them think differently.

Click here to learn how to challenge effectively

Your personal development plan

The next level for you is to move to The Leader. Here’s some ideas to start thinking about:

1. Taking your communication and presentation skills to the next level will really help you progress. This is one of the big gaps between good and really great finance leaders.

Click here to learn how to bring context to your numbers 

Click here to learn an alternative to bullet points 

2. What proportion of your time are you spending helping people answer the questions so what, what next, and how can we improve? Probably a lot, could you do even more? Can you prioritise the day-to-day even more to free up this time? And more importantly how can you help your team do that?

Click here to find out how to structure your finance team to save money and improve impact 

Click here to find out more about being a World Class FBP 

3. You’re a good influencer already, could you learn from sales best-practice and become a master of influence?

Click here to learn how to challenge effectively 

Click here to learn how to build rapport fast 

Your personal development plan

Great finance leaders coach people to ask the questions so what! Here’s some ideas to start thinking about:

1. Taking your communication and presentation skills to the next level will really help you progress. This is one of the big gaps between good and really great finance leaders.

Click here to learn how to bring context to your numbers 

Click here to learn an alternative to bullet points 

2. What proportion of your time are you spending helping people answer the questions so what, what next, and how can we improve?

You are already at the top of your FBP game, but what about your team? Can you prioritise the day-to-day even more to free up time? And more importantly how can you help your team do that?

Click here to find out how to structure your finance team to save money and improve impact 

Click here to find out how to create more time for FBP 

3. You’re a good influencer already, could you learn from sales best-practice and become a master of influence?

Click here to learn how to challenge effectively 

Click here to learn how to build rapport fast 

The big picture

Working with over 7,000 FBPs over 7 years we’ve found 4 styles of finance business partnering.

1. The Calculator

2. The Dashboard

3. The Coach

4. The Leader

The best of the best can move seamlessly between the different styles depending on the situation.

In fact a great FD or CFO will often show all 4 styles in the same 5 minute conversation or presentation – and so this is what you’ll want to aim for.

How you can use your result

The nature of a career in finance is that we start off quite close to the numbers as a Calculator and develop over time to become Coach and Leader. But we never loose the ability or need to be Calculator when the time calls.

So your result will give you a good idea of where you are today and your strengths. Plus you’ll see a suggested personal development plan to help you get to the next level.

So if for example you’ve come out as Dashboard, we’ll show you the kind of things you could do to help you move to Coach.

If you’re taking our online video course, or joining one of our public or in-house development programmes, we’ll take you step by step through the tools and techniques.

And once you’ve learned some new tools and put them into practice consistently, you can come back and retake the survey and see how you’ve grown!

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