Take your new team to the top: how to motivate the accounting and finance team to add value to your organization.
In Vision. Start with a clear vision of a finance team that is involved in the business and engaged in key management decisions.
* Stakeholders Stakeholders
All parties that have an interest, financial or otherwise, in a firm-stockholders, creditors, bondholders, employees, customers, management, the community, and the government. . Identify and engage key stakeholders right away. Conduct structured interviews to identify what is most important to your internal clients.
* Current Organization. Immediately evaluate the existing organization by asking team members to describe their current roles and to explain their work history in the current organization.
* Right Hand. During the initial assessment period, also look for someone who can be your "right hand?' This is someone who shares your vision for the finance team.
* Assimilation Assimilation
The absorption of stock by the public from a new issue.
Underwriters hope to sell all of a new issue to the public.
See also: Issuer, Underwriting
Assimilation . Hold a team meeting facilitated by HR. Reward team members who clearly fit the new vision. Strategically recruit new employees who will mix well with the team and encourage them to move in the new direction.
* Lessons. Timing is critical; don't don't
1. Contraction of do not.
2. Nonstandard Contraction of does not.
A statement of what should not be done: a list of the dos and don'ts. delay tough decisions. Create the right blend of new team members with established staff to maximize results. Respond quickly and effectively to the small things first to achieve "early wins" and build confidence.
* Don't take on too much at once. Don't settle for less than what you want to achieve. Communicate important issues up the organization. Have the tough conversations.
The challenge for any leader moving into a new organization is to hit the ground running, quickly bringing value to the business he or she is supporting. In no field is this more true than corporate finance, where pressure to reduce costs is high and management tenure increasingly short.
Mike Kaelin, vice president of finance for a business unit of RTI International RTI International was established in 1958 as Research Triangle Institute, the founding tenant of North Carolina’s Research Triangle Park. RTI was founded as part of a larger effort to harness the intellectual capital of the area’s three major universities— North , has a track record of building high-performing finance teams who are recognized for bringing value to the businesses they support. He has refined a process for evaluating, motivating and building teams over the course of his last three financial leadership positions and shares the system and lessons learned along the way.
Start with a clear vision of a finance team that is involved in the business and engaged in key management decisions. This vision is communicated to both the team and the key stakeholders outside of the finance team. Your vision will be used to develop, implement and measure the success of specific objectives and tactics during the execution of the rest of this process.
This step is vital. Everyone wants to know where they are going and why.
Identify and engage key stakeholders right away. This step includes both your boss and peers outside the walls of finance. These internal clients or customers should be treated the same way you would treat clients if you were running a private practice. Your mission is to serve and complement their needs.
Conduct structured interviews to identify what is most important to your internal customers. If your predecessor did not share your value-added val·ue-add·ed
Of or relating to the estimated value that is added to a product or material at each stage of its manufacture or distribution: approach, then initially your peers may not understand the reason for your questions, says Kaelin.
At this point you are building your relationship in the organization and looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. opportunities to demonstrate how your team can bring value to internal customers. In effect, you are teaching your team how to serve while teaching the business how to be served by your team.
Meeting with internal customers is not a one-time one-time
1. or one·time
a. Occurring or undertaken only once: a one-time winner in 1995.
b. event; it is an ongoing process. Kaelin schedules one-on-one one-on-one
1. Consisting of or being direct communication or exchange between two people: one-on-one instruction.
2. Sports Playing directly or exclusively against a single opponent. meetings with each customer every two weeks. While this requires a significant amount of time, it helps tremendously when it comes to implementation. Transitions are much smoother as the customers discover that their input results in specific actions.
THE CURRENT ORGANIZATION
A quick evaluation of the existing organization is critical to a new leader's success. In addition to ending the suspense SUSPENSE. When a rent, profit a prendre, and the like, are, in consequence of the unity of possession of the rent, &c., of the land out of which they issue, not in esse for a time, they are said to be in suspense, tunc dormiunt, but they may be revived or awakened. Co, Litt. 313 a. for team members, it is essential to know the strengths of existing team members and to determine that everyone is in the right role to leverage their strengths and interests.
In individual interviews with your group, give each team member an opportunity to start learning about you while you learn about them. Start by asking team members to describe their current roles and to explain their work history in the organization. Also ask about their past positions and probe to discover what their biggest challenges are. Make a point to learn what does and does not motivate them and how you can help them be more successful.
THE RIGHT HAND
During the initial assessment period, look for someone who can be your "right hand." This is someone who shares your vision for the finance team. Kaelin sometimes finds this person on an existing team and at other times goes outside of the organization to find this critical person. In this individual you are looking for someone whose skills complement yours.
Another factor is making certain that this person is right for your current organization. At times it is tempting to hire someone who has worked for you in a previous company. Sometimes this can be a great move, but just because an individual was well-suited for a prior situation does not mean that they are the right fit for the next one.
A final consideration is cultural fit. If changing the culture of the existing team is a goal, then it is essential for this "right hand" to be an effective cheerleader for the changes that are slated to take place in the organization.
The heavy lifting comes next. Now that you have input from the internal clients your department supports and have developed some initial impressions of the members of the team you inherited inherited
received by inheritance.
inherited achondroplastic dwarfism
see achondroplastic dwarfism.
inherited combined immunodeficiency
see combined immune deficiency syndrome (disease). , the next step is to learn more about your team and help them learn more about you. This is a critical step as it builds the next level of trust required to work toward changing the organization.
Kaelin calls on the human resource department for assistance with the first step in the assimilation process--a team meeting facilitated by HR. This meeting is held off-site off-site
Taking place or located away from the site, as of a particular activity: an off-site waste treatment operation.
off in an informal setting. The team is given 13 questions to answer about Kaelin.
He does not attend this part of the meeting. After they have answered these questions, Kaelin comes into the meeting and reviews their answers and addresses the additional questions raised during the session. This process provides a very "safe" environment for the team members to learn what they want to know about their new leader.
More information about the team is also revealed during this session. You have an opportunity to observe the team dynamics
n. pl. to-dos Informal
A commotion or stir.
pl -dos Brit, Austral & NZ a commotion, fuss, or quarrel
Noun 1. list" come from the team creates a dynamic that fosters the support of the team members from the beginning of the change initiative.
The final and probably most important benefit of this exercise is that it opens the door for communication between you and the individuals on your team. This environment gives you a chance to let the team see your human side. By being open and willing to share about yourself, you encourage a level of trust that facilitates the relationship building needed to effect change.
Your goal is to create an environment where your staff will bring the issues to you. Early in the process, find ways to reward team members who clearly fit the new vision. As you determine who will not contribute well to the new organization, strategically recruit new employees who will mix well with the team, and encourage them to move in the new direction that you have set.
Kaelin is the first to admit that he has made mistakes along the way. Here are some tips based on these experiences:
* The timing of when you make changes is critical. Be careful not to delay making the tough decisions.
* Create the right blend of new team members with the established staff and refocus Verb 1. refocus - focus once again; The physicist refocused the light beam"
focus - cause to converge on or toward a central point; "Focus the light on this image"
2. to get maximum results.
* Respond quickly and effectively to the small things first. This creates early wins, which build confidence within the team and within the organization you are serving.
* Take on the big challenges after building your credibility within the organization.
* Do not take on too much at once.
* Be resolute res·o·lute
Firm or determined; unwavering.
[Middle English, dissolved, dissolute, from Latin resol in your goals--do not settle for less than what you want to achieve.
* Communicate important issues up the organization.
* Have the tough conversations.
To be successful in today's climate, financial leaders are required to have more than technical accounting skills. The ability to attract and retain top financial talent and meld and motivate these talented individuals into a high-performing team is essential.
This process is a great example of how a strong technician See PC technician and software technician. can expand his or her abilities and achieve more through effective deployment of a talented group of finance professionals. Making this effort a priority is certain to enhance the success of your career and the success of the business you are supporting.
A Five-Step Process:
1. Start with a clear vision for the finance team.
2. Interview key stakeholders.
3. Evaluate the current organization.
4. Identify a "right hand."
5. Continue the process of assimilation.
Questions for Stakeholders
* Describe your organization.
* What are your strategic business challenges?
* What are the company's business challenges?
* What process, if improved, can increase the productivity of your staff?
* What are your perceptions of your current finance team?
* What do you want/need from the team?
* Where can I be an asset to you?
* What are the top 3 things I should focus on?
* Whom on your team should I talk to for additional perspective?
Traits of High-Performing Finance Teams
* Hard working, motivated mo·ti·vate
tr.v. mo·ti·vat·ed, mo·ti·vat·ing, mo·ti·vates
To provide with an incentive; move to action; impel.
mo and ambitious
* Good sense of urgency
* High energy
* Willing to reach out into the organization and solve problems
See American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). RESOURCES
* "A Strategic Player," July July: see month. 06, page 51
* "Jump-Start jump-start
tr.v. jump-start·ed, jump-start·ing, jump-starts
1. To start (the engine of a motor vehicle) by using a booster cable connected to the battery of another vehicle or by engaging the drive train while the vehicle Success;' Feb. 05, page 34
CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) Communications equipment that resides on the customer's premises.
CPE - Customer Premises Equipment
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1. Study or examination of oneself.
2. A form of study in which one is to a large extent responsible for one's own instruction. course (#731274)
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Noun 1. .com or call the Institute at 888-777-7077.
Assimilation Session Questions
* What do we already know about --?
* What would we like to know about--that we do not know?
* What does--need to know about us as a group?
* What are our concerns about--becoming our leader?
* What information or actions do we want from--?
* What can--do to make us the most productive we can be?
* What can we do to make our team more effective?
* What can we do to make--more effective?
* What is our team known for?
* What should our vision and mission statements be?
* What are the major challenges--will face during his first year?
* What major challenges will--and our team face during the first year?
* What recommendations do we have for meeting those challenges?
Patti J. Gillenwater Gillenwater may refer to:
e-mail address - electronic mail address is email@example.com. Mike Kaelin is a former candidate and current client of Elinvar.