Design principles for change
Driving transformation at this scale requires blending revolutionary thinking with an evolutionary approach to change, with a focus on cultural change and capacity expansion, and new sourcing and vendor management strategies.
To transcend the common pitfalls of failed transformation initiatives, finance leaders must combine bold, creative ideas with proven tactics that build momentum through incremental gains. Taking a long-term view will help shape viable plans that address the most pressing “fix-now” issues and create capacity for change without losing sight of the need for ongoing, continuous innovation.
Cultural shifts are necessary to operationalize vision and purpose and, most importantly, sustain change over the long term. Achieving ambitious goals requires defining what you want to achieve, crafting the plan to achieve it, and committing the necessary resources. Communication is important because more engaged teams lead to more effective change programs.
Beyond integrated data, advanced technology, and empowered teams, tomorrow’s top-performing finance functions will also excel at building mutually beneficial relationships with key vendors and partners. Leaders must think through the various attributes they are looking for in their partners and how to optimally structure the relationships. Compatibility of expertise and cultural fit are important criteria.
The path to the future
Those finance groups expand their capabilities, streamline and link their processes, and enhance their technology and data to help the business take advantage of market opportunities in a strategic, safe, and informed way. They will enable the business to compete more effectively and therefore contribute more meaningfully to bottom-line performance.
As the central point for all performance data, finance is uniquely positioned to accurately measure performance, identify opportunities across the business, and predictively model what’s to come. With such a perspective, it can provide strategic advisory services that help promote innovation and growth, even during a time of great uncertainty and rapid evolution.
While industry veterans understand the risks of overly ambitious transformation programs, we believe that the future upside is so compelling that finance leaders must act – and the sooner the better – if they are to create the value that’s within reach.
Thank you to Steve Capps, EY Global Insurance Finance Transformation Leader, for his contributions to this article.