• Steven Richards

The Growth Conundrum


If You Want to Grow, You Need to Let Go

We live in an age of technology, information and alacritous change. This change was no more evident than on my recent business trip to London. I don’t normally take public transport but I oblige when I am in the British capital, a regular visitor. Anyway, I was on the Tube and I noticed something completely different to the previous years. Commuters were no longer staring blankly into space, instead turning their attention to a spellbinding smart device. A symbolic transition if ever there was one: from blank to intelligent space!

In today's fast paced world, thriving in the economy is not so much about MINDING THE GAP, but more about thinking carefully about the next step and shaping ones focus.

Transformation Agenda The harsh reality of growing a business in the modern economy is that the business model keeps evolving. Adapting to this constant change becomes integral to achieving bottom line performance.

Sometimes this change can be quite dramatic. For example, unlike yesteryear the world’s largest retailers today operate without bricks and mortar and these days one the most popular item at McDonalds is a salad! Talk about a revolution.

As a business leader, successfully navigating the organisation through this transformation becomes critical to the growth and indeed success of the business.

Increasing Demands As the business landscape evolves so to does the level of sophistication required to manage operations. More is demanded from support functions such as Finance, IT & HR amidst growing complexity and it inevitably becomes necessary to transition from A to B in order to adequately support the business.

The Bottleneck As the business strives to understand its growth requirements in this rapidly changing landscape, the CFO and his finance team become increasingly consumed by the sapping grind of the day-to-day activities while also required to devote time to driving transformation.

This time often simply does not materialise and the CFO finds himself both a critical ingredient to the successful transformation of the business and a bottleneck inadvertently impeding progress.

Transformation is an art

and the required business improvement skills do not always exist internally.

Hamster on a Wheel Then, with having to attend to the daily activities, those projects designed to automate (and make life easier) are unfavourably delayed. The result? The business goes nowhere and the finance team can feel like a hamster on a wheel.

The Business Impact For some organisations, challenging the status quo assists in the hunt for survival, while for others it enables growth. I can hardly think of anything more important and for this reason, if transformation initiatives are not the number one strategic priority in your business, I would be asking some serious questions.

Whatever your strategic landscape, it makes little sense to defer transformation initiatives. Each day delayed risks decreasing business value and this is not quite in the best interest of your shareholders is it?

Tip: if internal resources are employed to implement transformation projects,

make sure they are adequately skilled and experienced to do so.

Also, avoid over-committing resources at the expense of routine

value-add activities such as business partnering.

Transformation is Not a Project These days it is a mistake to view transformation as a project as it is effervescent and ongoing. Change is the norm and viewing this as business as usual becomes a new way of life.

If this is not the case in your organisation, I recommend a process of self-enquiry and there are a few good questions you could ask, “What is preventing me from doing business in a more contemporary way?”

“Do I need to refresh my attitude and appropriately align company culture? “Am I the bottleneck?”

If the answer is yes, don’t tread faster on the hamster wheel,

rather get off and try a new approach.

The Way Forward If the answer is yes to any of the above questions, don’t tread faster on the hamster wheel, rather get off and try a new approach.

Letting go of the old way of doing things may well make you feel uncomfortable and a change of attitude may well be a good starting point. You don’t need to do everything yourself and there is no harm done in finding a trusted partner to plug the resource, time availability and skills gap and play the role of transformation enabler.

Oh, and if you are worried about the cost of doing things this way, the question is not so much, “How much will it cost to do this?” but more, “How much will it cost if we do NOT do it?”

SUPPORTING BUSINESS TRANSFORMATION


Ramesys Business Consulting plugs the resource, time availability and skills gap by playing the role of transformation enabler, either as a project management support to C-level executives or by providing fully outsourced resources. This may include identifying problems and opportunities for improvement, depending on the strategic landscape.

Read more about our business consulting transformation services...

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