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Take Care in Placing Key Finance People

o Dallon Christensen
21.10.2011 kl 23:29 | CFOworld (US)

I've often said I do not consider myself a traditional finance person. I pride myself in looking around the corners of businesses, integrating the best of other functions into my finance work, and trying to find simpler ways to deliver results.

 

I've often said I do not consider myself a traditional finance person. I pride myself in looking around the corners of businesses, integrating the best of other functions into my finance work, and trying to find simpler ways to deliver results.

After a roller-coaster job situation over the past year, I now believe more than ever in the need for a finance person to fit within an organization's culture. We must believe in our organizations, and the values they represent, if we are to bring the best of ourselves every day. This is especially important in finance, where the organizational culture and the need to report accurate financial results both are important elements. We must strike the right balance between culture, and providing the information for making smart business decisions.

I recently interviewed Kevin Kruse, co-author of the book We, from John Wiley and Sons. Kruse and co-author Rudy Karsan stress the importance of engagement for a motivated, productive workforce. The best piece of information from the book relates to its "Archetype" assessment. "It's fine to ask what do you want to be when you grow up," Kruse says. "It's just as important to determine where you are the best fit. There are plenty of organizations that are structured and button-down. Then you have (companies like) Apple. You need some Revolutionaries to bring new ideas to even the most structured organizations."

I took the Archetype assessment, which has a passcode when you purchase the book. My result was "Revolutionary," which means I am comfortable working in organizations that act outside ordinary boxes, and are willing to take risks. I have worked in many traditional organizations that have valued structure and orderly behavior. After taking this assessment, I understand why I was a terrible fit in my prior position before joining my current employer.

As finance leaders, we should understand how our best people work, and design an environment to maximize their performance. If you have an employee who works creatively with little direction, that may be your person to design and develop new work processes. Your more structured and organized people are great candidates for the general accounting roles that require steady, detail-oriented work. No amount of training or coaching will fix a free-thinking employee who is trying to handle routine cost accounting processes.

When ideas matter, your people must work in their most productive and creative ways. Understanding your employees' ideal work environments will go a long way toward reducing employee turnover and developing a top-flight organization.

Keywords: Business Issues  
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