14th April 2022

Less Buts… More Ands!

Here are my three interesting things for this month…

1. Finance in 2025

As you all know, I spend a lot of time thinking and talking about the future of finance. And I’m not the only one.

Deloitte produced a report on the Eight Predictions for the Future of Finance. It’s not new, but it’s definitely worth revisiting. It’s still very relevant and you can check it out in full here. In the meantime, here are the key predictions. I have summarised each one in a few words, I agree with just about all of them.

The question to ask yourself is what each of these things means for:

  1. Your current role
  2. What you want to do next
  3. More broadly, your career

If you want to spend some time talking through this in more depth and creating a plan – get in touch here.

2. Less buts, more ands

In finance, we have to tell people ‘no’ a lot.  People come with their ideas and we shoot them down in flames. For example:

Business: “I want to spend £100k on a new marketing plan. Is it a good idea?”
Finance: “Yes, but there’s not enough budget left.”
What the business hears: FINANCE SAYS NO!
So instead, try “Yes, and…”

This would look like:
Business: “I want to spend £100k on a new marketing plan. Is it a good idea?”
Finance: “Yes, and how can we do that and stay within budget?”

This generates a partnership and sense of solving together, rather than a me vs you situation.

A quick tip to help build a habit on this: write BUT on a post-it, score a line through it and stick it to your monitor. When you’re writing emails, this will remind you to review them for ‘but’s before sending. Change up the language, they will read much less combative and your influence should improve.

Like this tip? Check out the Finance Business Partner academy here. I’m now one of their trainers – their course is amazing and full of great ideas like this. I wish I’d been able to put my teams through over the years! You can also access this course through the ICAEW here.

3. Upskilling on PowerBi

Yep – here we are again, talking about PowerBI 😊 Gartner just released its annual quadrant for 2022 on where PowerBI sits relative to its competitors. On just about every metric, it remains a decent gap from the chasing pack – and its pace of evolution shows no sign of slowing.

Last month, we finished the first run of our PowerBI in Month End course. Our goal is to help finance get to grips with the most important piece of technology in the market right now.

It went even better then we hoped, and here was the most interesting feedback we heard from most of the attendees:

“I’ve been looking for a long time for PowerBI training that’s relevant for the work we do in finance, but it didn’t exist. This course is exactly what I was looking for.”

So what’s special about it? Here are our principles in building it:

  1. PowerBI is huge. Only cover the things you NEED to know, and nothing else
  2. Link it back to real finance problems – keep providing the context of why it matters
  3. Make it pragmatic and quickly applicable to get to business impact

What do we cover? People assume it will all be about fancy dashboards, but that’s the output. The really important thing is how to build the stuff behind the dashboards that makes it work so well.

Here’s the outline of the course. ⬇️

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Oliver Deacon

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