As I work with leaders of enterprises large and small, I observe that getting the organization's financial roles in order - from staffing to reporting - is a complex undertaking.
In Good to Great, Jim Collins argues that, after leadership, "[getting] the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats" (p. 13) is the prerequisite to any long-lasting healthy growth of any enterprise. Nowhere is this more true than with an enterprise's financial health. Clearly defining roles for financial services helps steward leaders put the right people in the right places and makes sure all the needed roles are covered. Moreover, it helps as leaders plan for how work will be structured - who reports to whom; who needs to see and act upon which reports, and when, and so on.
Unclear roles cause us to ask some significant questions about our operations:
- What if we have no one acting strategically? Procedurally?
- What if our procedures are overly complex? Over-simplified?
- What if our planning is good, but never gets back to reality?
- What do we need an outside firm to do? What do we need to keep in-house?
- How do we handle needed changes? Are they adaptive or technical, or both?
- What reports help which roles do their job?
Over the next few months, we will talk about these questions in a series of blog posts. Each of these questions can lead us to designing the right balance of roles, reports, and strategy to accomplish our enterprise's goals. As we exercise steward leadership of our respective enterprises, having the overall systems in place to make sure the right people are doing the right kind of work will help us increase our financial health as we work toward our goals.
We've created a tool called the Financial Services Roles tool that outlines some of the basic roles and how those roles are differentiated in organizational systems. The tool is free: also, for a limited time, leaders who download the tool receive a free financial roles consultation. Click the button below to get yours today!