Maintaining Senior Financial Leadership During Transition

The Client

A global manufacturing and brand management company

Key Takeaways

  • Evaluated and improved existing business model strategies.

  • Implemented an innovative program to educate leaders in technical competence and behavioral confidence.

  • Acquired a set of tangible action items that were added to workplace structure and management.

The Challenge

The industry in which our client, a global manufacturing and brand management company, operated was subject to heavy and ever-growing regulation in most of its core markets. New rules resulted in the need for fundamental changes to their business model, such as searching for new and innovative products, streamlining overhead, and looking for growth through acquisition.

Our client determined that their current development program was not able to equip their team with the skills necessary to lead the business. Their management team and supporting infrastructure were decentralized in every country where the business has a presence. In addition, their senior leadership team recognized that many in the global senior finance team would become the leaders of the organization over the next three to five years.

We developed a radically new program through Kaplan Leadership and Professional Development to support their existing Finance Directors as they transitioned to a more strategic role. The program addressed the need for this generation to be exceptionally competent from a technical perspective, as well as behaviorally confident, to drive top quality commercial and organizational decision-making, and move the business forward in the current environment.

The Solution

We were trusted to develop an intervention that would address both the technical skills and the behavioral know-how of their Finance Directors in all locations. During our collaborative design time, we talked to members of the global finance leadership team to understand their views about the organization’s priorities and individual needs.

The key design principles were:

  • Focused on agility over precision, decisions were not delayed by the aspiration for perfection.
  • Prioritized the need for team members to understand a business-wide perspective; from tactical to more strategic decision-making.
  • Equipped leaders with the skills and confidence to make decisions in a volatile and ambiguous VUCA environment.
  • Developed cross-functional decisions for non-finance function peer group, and learned the concerns of non-financial managers.
  • Evolved the status quo to match the new wider environment.

Following the principles above, we created a five-day intensive program utilizing expertise from both the KLPD behavior and technical faculties. We used activities and experiential methodologies to wrap around the acquisition theme and moved the program through the various stages of an acquisition. We covered strategic targeting, pre-acquisition, business valuation, price negotiations, post-acquisition, and process integration.

We set the scene by looking at the global macro-economic environment and the challenges it presents to the industry and the business. Next, we moved onto strategy and decision-making, picking up technical finance, reporting, and negotiating, and presented a convincing argument. We used a combination of technical and behavioral consultants, guest speakers from the business, and corporate role-playing actors.

The Result

At the conclusion of our program, the team members were asked to reflect on their experience and commit to taking away a number of tangible actions that they could implement in the workplace. We followed up on their commitments after three months to ensure the experience had been remembered and engrained. Our client decided to run another iteration of this program and explored other development interventions for different areas in the business.

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Key Takeaways

  • Established and implemented key programs to communicate clearly and efficiently on a broad scale.

  • Facilitated teamwork with the overarching goal of achieving behavioral shifts in attitude.

  • Created a more collaborative environment and strengthened the interaction and trust between teams.

Key Takeaways

  • Assessed the wide range of qualifications and skills amongst new fund managers.

  • Designed a customized program to disseminate adequate and equal financial knowledge and training.

  • Instilled a practical understanding of accounting practices, macroeconomics, financial modeling, and other training to complete their skill set.

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