22nd September 2022

Increase Your Productivity Post-Summer

My 3 interesting things for you this month…

1. How are you spending your time?

I talk a lot about finance teams and how they’re making progress. The LinkedIn Group ‘the FP&A club’ (exciting club?!) recently worked with the FP&A trends group to survey a bunch of its’ members on how finance teams are spending their time.

Ideally, we want to spend as much time as possible generating insight to drive action – ideally aiming for 80/20. On average, we’re barely spending a quarter of our time on it.

So what can we do to make this better? Automation, data quality improvements and process improvements. More specifically, try to figure out where your team is today, and what would you need to do to move from where you are to the right hand side.

Want some help? Get in touch.

2. Crimes against charting

The other day, a client showed me their new company’s monthly management reporting. After 37 (out of 62!!!) pages of the most visually unappealing, cluttered, mismatched formatting and often incomprehensible charts – I had to ask them to stop before the nausea got too much. I’m not sure this is particularly uncommon.

With the team at the Finance Business Partner, we spend lots of time with finance folks talking about presenting finance stuff to make it consumable and impactful. But sometimes you just need to know what type of chart to use.

Recently I stumbled across this gem in the Financial Times that talks about the various charts you can use to visualise data.

Below is just one example of how to visual the distribution of data. To see more visualisations, click on the above link.

This is just one of the many examples here, but the full picture is a goldmine of real clarity. The link above is a great one to share with the junior people on the team.

3. What makes a great Leader?

I spent a fair amount of my summer thinking about leadership – with 1:1 clients and also some projects I’ve been working on. There is a set of traits that I came back to again and again… This isn’t everything, but my sense is that if you are hitting 70% of these pretty solidly and have a plan for the rest, you have a great foundation for being a strong leader.

If you’re not feeling quite so good about these, why not get in touch and we can spend some time thinking through a plan of action…

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Oliver Deacon

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