Change Management & The CFO

Mar 6, 2019 | Posted by Michael Campbell

 

More and more, the role of the CFO is moving beyond and outside the traditional realm of financial management and control. Increasingly CFOs are directly involved with other senior executives in driving organisational transformations that improve efficiency, grow organisational agility and reduce cost. A recent Deloitte survey found that CFOs spend 60% of their time being a catalyst for change in their organisation

Identifying barriers to change, proactively involving IT, and communicating key transition milestones effectively can help CFOs architect the whole organisation, as well as their own finance function, of the future.

Perhaps this is why more and more CFOs want to understand how they can evolve their own organisation to higher levels of change enablement and maturity, where according to Prosci the leaders succeed in delivering the objectives of 73% of the projects they launch, rather than lagging behind with project success rates of the lowest maturity organisations languishing at 37%.

Change management projects are initiated often as a result of something currently not working as efficiently as it should.  This lack of efficiency or productivity usually generates unexpected costs. This is why the CFO will always have an essential part to play in any change programme within the business, as cost management is their prime role.

However, the level of CFO involvement depends on the type of project. For example, if the organisation is going through financial restructuring, bankruptcy proceedings or a merger, then the CFO will play a lead role in how the project is designed, budgeted and implemented. If the project is more about changing IT systems or moving offices, the CFO may be responsible but will often delegate the leadership and sponsorship of that change to others, while retaining a strong input within, and executive oversight of, the project.

The first step for the CFO in implementing change is to discover the problems that are holding the business back from reaching its full potential and then diagnose why these are occurring, before evaluating the scale of change required to solve them. The CFO is also well-positioned to evaluate the success of potential changes and transformations, both in estimating the ROI before the project is green-lit, and in measuring its success and benefits as the changes are put in place and new ways of working adopted by the workforce.

To find out how to calculate the ROI of change management to secure buy-in for your change project, download our eBook.

With any change project, a major issue is effective communication; people need to know why you are making these changes, how they will impact them, and why the status quo is no longer an option. The role of executive leaders like the CFO in being active and visible in these changes is vital to successful changes in ways of working by all impacted functions throughout the organisation.

CMC provides Board level executives like the CFO with a confidential, private 6-hour Prosci Sponsor Workshop to explain and educate leaders in how to become better sponsors of effective change projects, using data gathered from your own active projects combined with Best Practices from Prosci's research of more than 6,300 projects over the past 20 years. 

Develop your own change management capabilities as a CFO or senior executive with CMC Partnership and register your interest in a private CMC Prosci Sponsor Workshop below.

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