The case study “Shifting Finance from Controlling to Improving” by Brad Power discusses how finance departments in organizations can move away from traditional controlling practices to becoming a strategic partner in the company’s success. The case highlights the challenges and benefits of this shift through the example of a large manufacturer.
The issue faced by the manufacturer in this case is that their finance department was focused solely on controlling costs and ensuring compliance, rather than being a strategic partner in the organization’s success. This led to a lack of trust and collaboration between finance and other departments, as well as missed opportunities for improvement and growth.
To address these issues, the manufacturer decided to shift the focus of their finance department from controlling to improving. This involved a change in mindset, processes, and tools. The finance department began to work closely with other departments, such as operations and marketing, to identify areas of improvement and develop strategies for growth.
One of the tools used to facilitate this shift was a new performance management system. This system allowed for more frequent and meaningful discussions between finance and other departments about performance metrics and goals. The manufacturer also implemented a continuous improvement program, which involved regularly reviewing processes and identifying areas for optimization.
The shift to improving also required a change in mindset from the finance department. They needed to be more proactive and focused on value creation, rather than just cost-cutting. This required a shift in the culture of the organization, with leadership emphasizing the importance of collaboration and innovation.
The shift from controlling to improving in finance departments can be challenging, but it is essential for organizations to remain competitive and grow. By working closely with other departments, implementing performance management systems, and focusing on continuous improvement, finance departments can become strategic partners in their organization’s success.
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To successfully shift from controlling to improving, organizations should:
- Foster a culture of collaboration and innovation.
- Implement performance management systems that facilitate frequent and meaningful discussions about performance metrics and goals.
- Emphasize the importance of continuous improvement and regularly review processes to identify areas for optimization.
- Develop a mindset focused on value creation, rather than just cost-cutting.
- Encourage finance departments to work closely with other departments to identify areas of improvement and develop strategies for growth.
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