“I’m not interested in news-readers in Finance … I need journalists”.

This is what the Commercial Director of a large savings and pensions company recently said to me.

It’s quite an insightful statement, and it got me thinking about what we can learn from journalism to improve skills and capabilities in finance business partnering.

What do News-readers do?   They read the script that someone else has written for them.  You could choose to read the same news in a newspaper, but the news-reader is in effect reading the news page to you.

When does Finance add the Least Value to your business?   This is a question I often ask business leaders as part of our work with clients, when we’re helping to re-define the role of Finance to add more value to their business.  The overwhelming answer is:

“When Finance bombards me with reports and data without telling me what it means to my business, or without telling me what I should do about it”.

What do Journalists do?  They investigate, dig deeper into the news, and interrogate behind the headlines.  Really successful investigative journalists ‘join the dots’ between different parts of the news to tell a compelling story in a way that makes you sit up and take notice.

When does Finance add the Most Value to your business?    When they evaluate business options with commercial science and financial rigour, looking at options, opportunities and payback.

The most successful finance partners go on to measure and evaluate how good the outcome was.   How good were the decisions, and what was the value of the outcome?

So Ask Yourself:

  • Do your Finance teams produce and read the news in your business?
  • Or do they investigate behind the news and drive business insight, options and commercial decisions

If you want to know how to transform your Finance news-readers into investigative Financial journalists, please get in touch!

With kind regards,

Adrian Willmott,
Managing Director, Arcus Consulting
e:  adrian.willmott@arcusc.com
t: +44 (0) 207 608 5096

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