Thinking

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McKinsey Research Sends Global Business Services to the Front Lines


Despite the fact that Global Business Services and Shared Services were originally constructed to drive cost savings through centralization and standardization, there is growing evidence that the case for action is no longer purely cost reduction.

Our own research with GBS and Shared Services leaders shows the tension between the business outcomes DEMANDED by executive management and the aspirations of the GBS leadership themselves.… Read More

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Highlights from the Shared Services Leaders Summit in Atlanta 2019


I recently spoke at and attended the very insightful North American Shared Services Leaders’ Summit in Atlanta. Once again, I learned a lot, met some inspiring people, shared experiences, laughed, and paused for thought.

It was a privilege to speak on Day 1, and the positive collective feedback was gratefully received.… Read More

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Keys to Success with Enterprise Risk Management (ERM)


I think this image says so much about decision making, risk management and performance. The ocean race, or business or life, is not about “avoiding risk” but managing it. We can’t always choose the weather, but we need to make best decisions to navigate the prevailing conditions to reach our objectives in the fastest time (lowest cost) achievable whilst keeping safely within the parameters we set.… Read More

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Buzzword Bingo: The Cloud Confusion Game


Whether you are a leader in Finance, Shared Services, IT, Risk management, Audit or Compliance, the promise of everything getting simpler has become a haunting concept. It’s not just the general promise of technology, it goes far beyond that to the principles of business functions and as always, the devil is in the detail…

Experience tell us things are never as good as promised or as bad as we feared.… Read More

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Shared Services Leaders’ Summit, Chicago 2019: Notes From the Chair


It was a privilege to co-chair the Shared Services’ Leaders Summit in Chicago last week. The event was great fun and very thought provoking. I have had many messages to the same effect, so it seems the feeling was mutual!

We discussed and brainstormed a number of issues over the two days and I think (hope!) we all came away with some new perspectives and ideas to nurture within our organizations and some specific actions to initiate.… Read More

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Driving Value With Enterprise Risk Management


Are you getting the expected value from your ERM implementation?

There is a growing focus on Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) as a framework for effective management decision making to optimise business results. We observe 3 major challenges to making ERM work in an organization;

  • Common Understanding and Purpose
  • Process Definition/Enablement
  • Technology Enablement/Optimization

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Predictions and Contradictions for 2019


In 1983, Isaac Asimov was asked to predict the world of 2019, 35 years into his future. It is weirdly disorienting to read his words, somewhat akin to reading George Orwell’s “1984” if you were around to enjoy that serendipity.

He observed that three considerations should dominate their thoughts at the time; Nuclear war, Computerization and Space utilization.… Read More

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Predictions & Contradictions: Talent


Talent

There is a gap in skills between what we aspire to and what we are, and what we have. How will finance leaders re-invent themselves to embrace and exploit the full potential of new digital technologies, insights, intelligence, and analytics?… Read More

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Predictions & Contradictions: Sourcing, Procurement & Supply


Sourcing, Procurement & Supply

In addition to end-to-end process thinking with “Source to Pay” global process initiatives, there is considerable focus on procurement transformation to speed the process up, drive down barriers, reduce complexity and deliver more value. Agile Procurement methodologies are being developed,  to separate high complexity/low agility requirements from those requiring low complexity/high agility, enabling greater automation focus on the latter and expert focus on the former.… Read More

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Predictions & Contradictions: Technology, Operations and Shared Services


Technology, Operations and Shared Services functions combine under common leadership

CFOs are no longer managing the “rear view mirror” of business and have an important input on technology decisions. The boundaries between technology, operations and shared services are blurring. The concept of Global Business Services, which comes in and out of focus as a trend, embodies a solution to this dilemma.… Read More

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