Most Finance Directors say that having the right people with the right skills is their number one priority for delivering business value from Finance.
Yet, in our experience not many FDs identify the specific capabilities needed by their finance business partners, as opposed to general skills like ‘presenting with impact’ or ‘influencing skills’.
Through our work with clients we’ve identified the 20 skills-sets needed by finance business partners in 4 ‘Capability Quadrants’:
You can read more about our business partner capabilities in our Best Practice report which you can download on the right hand side of this page.
The best finance organisations we’ve seen are quite explicit about the business partnering skills that are needed at each level of the organisation. What are the career paths from junior analysis levels up through mid-level business partner roles, and onward to Business Finance Director?
The mistake too many companies make is simply to re-draw organisation charts with ‘generic’ role descriptions and competencies for a Business Partner.
They then re-appoint and re-brand finance managers as business partners and tell them to get more involved in the business without defining in detail WHICH business decisions to focus on, WHAT practical skills they need and HOW they should work with their business colleagues.
As a result most ‘business partners’ operate in the way they’re most comfortable with, according to their own style. If that means carrying on with generating spread-sheets instead of challenging their business colleagues, then so be it!
So Ask Yourself these questions:
We’ve helped many large companies to re-define roles and career paths, explicitly linking our top 20 capability sets in our Finance Partnering Capability model to each role. We’ve then run highly successful training and development programmes for business partners to build these skills over time from Foundation skills to Advanced partnering capabilities.
If you’d like to find out more about how we do this for clients then please get in touch for an informal discussion.
Managing Director, Arcus Consulting
t: +44 (0) 207 608 5096