Change Leadership Key to Success of AP Projects

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Paytech Magazine, February 2015 The Heraclitus axiom, “change is constant,” is an absolute truth for businesses today. Change is important because, without it, businesses are at risk of serving customer needs with antiquated and inefficient approaches and technologies, losing an important competitive edge. One should look no further than organizations such as Blockbuster and Kodak as examples. These former titans are now nothing more than a memory of times gone by, when movies meant videotape and photography meant film. Ushering in meaningful, institutional change is difficult. John Kotter, the well-known leadership scholar, states that 70% of all major change efforts in organizations fail. The primary reason, he says, is that organizations often don’t take the holistic approach necessary to see change through to the final results. Failed projects often lack vision, leadership, and engagement — all key traits of an effective change management approach that begins in the highest echelons of an organization. Despite the difficulty of implementing change, high performance finance departments must be in a constant state of change. They must be fast and flexible, adapting to evolving economic and environmental conditions, to strategically keep cash flowing into and out of the organization. Optimizing financial processes such as near-cash processes like accounts payable and accounts receivable can help companies make more agile decisions and grow the bottom line. But, these areas are often ineffective, slow to make and collect payments. Stuck in the mindset that “we’ve always done it this way,” implementing change can be especially challenging. However, an effective change management strategy—beginning, according to Kotter, with an engaged leader such as the CFO—will dramatically improve the success of financial projects. What else must that leader do and why is change needed? Download_PDF

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Change Leadership Key to Success of AP Projects

Paytech Magazine, February 2015

The Heraclitus axiom, “change is constant,” is an absolute truth for businesses today. Change is important because, without it, businesses are at risk of serving customer needs with antiquated and inefficient approaches and technologies, losing an important competitive edge. One should look no further than organizations such as Blockbuster and Kodak as examples. These former titans are now nothing more than a memory of times gone by, when movies meant videotape and photography meant film.

Ushering in meaningful, institutional change is difficult. John Kotter, the well-known leadership scholar, states that 70% of all major change efforts in organizations fail. The primary reason, he says, is that organizations often don’t take the holistic approach necessary to see change through to the final results. Failed projects often lack vision, leadership, and engagement — all key traits of an effective change management approach that begins in the highest echelons of an organization.

Despite the difficulty of implementing change, high performance finance departments must be in a constant state of change. They must be fast and flexible, adapting to evolving economic and environmental conditions, to strategically keep cash flowing into and out of the organization. Optimizing financial processes such as near-cash processes like accounts payable and accounts receivable can help companies make more agile decisions and grow the bottom line. But, these areas are often ineffective, slow to make and collect payments.

Stuck in the mindset that “we’ve always done it this way,” implementing change can be especially challenging. However, an effective change management strategy—beginning, according to Kotter, with an engaged leader such as the CFO—will dramatically improve the success of financial projects. What else must that leader do and why is change needed?

Download_PDF