A Chief Financial Officer is highly dependent on their leadership team for the execution of ideas, strategic partnerships and overall goals for the organisation. Ever since the responsibility of a CFO has witnessed a significant transformation over the last few years, finance organisations should also focus on incorporating changes that defy traditional boundaries. Conventional manuals of day-to-day communications and daily operations have been rewritten to suit the rapid change in businesses.
As finance teams become indispensable partners for decision-making, it is crucial for corporations to expand their capabilities. A Financial Leadership Program is a curated program specially designed for finance executives to develop their communication and leadership while honing decision-making skills.
Here are some ways for CFOs to look beyond the traditional functionality and assemble a high-performing team to ably assist them in their endeavours.
Building a High-Performance Team
Create a holistic work environment
One of the ideal qualities of a team is that it is highly dependable and team members adapt to all kinds of scenarios. They constantly evolve to meet the changing business needs. Finance teams must collate performance data, compare them with industry standards and evaluate how the differences can be mitigated. Consistent evaluation of work culture and organisational behaviour can help to form a culture around iteration and improvement.
Growth opportunities for individual team members
Employee retention has become a challenge for the top management in the workforce. The higher brass should present compelling reasons during the hiring process to attract and retain talent instead of seeking alternative employment. Finance teams must come up with long-term plans for individual members, communicate plans and consistently engage them throughout their time with the company.
Cross-functional working and connecting to other departments
A highly effective finance segment has an important role in business and should communicate financial insights to non-financial teams. Finance teams may need additional support to build relationships and trust with non-finance teams. Process factors take into account several crucial processes and financial information on how they position into the overall business model and impact other functions. A CFO holds demonstrations to other teams about the interlinking of departments and organisational performance. A Financial Leadership program can help you learn more about the strategies to avert risk and cross-functioning of teams.
A high-performance finance team should be up to date with the best business practices and should commit themselves to continuous learning and improvement. They should be open to feedback and suggestions for overall improvement of the department.
Craft Compelling Stories
Even though the financial team will be adept at crunching numbers, they should hone their communication skills to make the layman understand financial figures. Financial storytelling involves explaining complex financial information through a comprehensive narrative. It is essential to put theories forward with the help of data. CFOs need to be good storytellers to communicate the larger picture to multiple investors, stakeholders and consumers. Balance sheets and income statements are strung into a coherent story. Financial storytelling is important as it gives insight into financial data by backing financial information behind numbers.
Characteristics of a High-Performance Finance Team
The strength of a team can be leveraged by fostering open communication and strong bonds between the members. In this age of remote and hybrid arrangements, communication has become more important than ever. A high-performance team forays into creative collaboration and communication that would be beneficial to any organisation. The right technology should be utilised to facilitate open communication that transcends departmental boundaries. Each team member should play an equal part in driving business success. By working in tandem and indulging in a continuous learning process, the finance team can fulfil its goals and be a valuable asset to the organisation.
Alignment with the company’s strategy
The finance team must be properly aligned with the company’s strategy to support the business and corporate goals. They should effectively function by providing valuable insights and adding value to stakeholders both internal and external. Focusing on daily tasks overlooking the big picture won’t work in today’s changing environment. Successful teams have in-depth knowledge about how to analyse financial data, design financial forecasts and hold discussions with the senior leadership team about the vision and overarching mission of the business.
Underperforming financial subsets of an organisation might be drained in focusing their energy on rigid accounting practices when agility and flexibility are the two modern ways of doing business. Internal finance departments should adopt practices that cater to changing market conditions and even influence global markets. The ability to solve new emerging problems can ensure a secure financial outlook for a business.
Changing Priority of Investors
Finance executives should be aware of what investors and stakeholders are looking for. Professionals who have successfully incorporated changes and fine-tuned their goals to the investor’s expectations will walk away with a major advantage in fundraising rounds. Investors have shifted their focus to profitable business models in recent times. With a slowing global economy, investors are demanding financial criteria from corporations by examining profitability and revenue to scrutinise liability and risk.
The entire segment of accounting professionals do a lot more than track the flow of money. They guide the organisation in the right financial direction. Finance professionals should have a strong grasp of accounting standards and principles in addition to financial analytics, data analytics, business intelligence and preparation of finance statements.
Assembling a high-performance finance team requires meticulous planning, keeping oneself updated with the latest technology trends, setting an example and being an inspiration for your team. With a high-performance team, your organisation can set a prime example in the business ecosystem. The Chief Finance Officer course offered by Imarticus in collaboration with ISB (The Indian School of Business) is the perfect launch pad to elevate your financial skills to the next level.