Optimising financial processes

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EQ, “Go Alone” or “Go Together” & the GPO (or BPO)

“If you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to go far, go together.”

Richard Shell reprises this old proverb, never more relevant than today, in his brief article below.

This resonated with the much heralded approach to global process alignment, simplification, standardisation, transformation and continuous improvement.

This is the domain typically referred to as “Global Process Ownership” but which applies equally to the role of the “Finance Business Partner”.

One of the most critical attributes of those pursuing these roles is that of “EQ” or emotional quotient, as distinct from IQ.

If your role, such as GPO, Business Partner or any current or aspiring executive, is more about “influence” than “control”, then this advice is for you.

The role of EQ, influence and building a “strong coalition” are central themes to our recently published Global Process Ownership Playbook. If this is relevant to you and you would like to get access to these insights, email us at 

Persuading others to go along with a course of action, to agree to a commitment, or to accept a decision can be difficult even for highly experienced leaders.

Persuasion, or influence, around key strategies and initiatives requires that you build a strong coalition.

You need to understand who to talk to, how and in what order. The “How To” is summarized in 5 simple steps, and expanded in Richard’s article (link below);

  • It’s always about relationships.
  • Grab their attention.
    • frame the problem so they can understand it and accept it as legitimate,
    • explain how the problem arose,
    • propose your answer in simple terms
    • make the case why your answer is the best one compared with obvious alternatives.
  • Give them credit.
  • Practice fairness.
  • Develop multiple paths. 

Having a systematic strategy for these conversations beats just following your gut every time.

Richard Shell, Wharton professor of legal studies and business ethics, shares his short sharp set of tips on this critical “influencing” skill here . . .

Thanks for reading.