What do Alignment and Change have in Common?

It is no understatement to say that change is difficult.  We can define levels of change.

Simple – Choosing to drive a different route to a “regular” client’s office one morning.
Moderate – Adopting a modern technology tool to replace a manual task that is part of your daily routine.
Advanced – Changing the processes and technology that your organization uses to record accounting transactions.

The latter would be considered a transformational change.  Implementing new processes, technology, and workflows to make your accounting process more efficient, transparent, and effective. I am in the middle of trying to convince a professional services firm that this type transformation is necessary.  After having done a thorough discovery of the current accounting process, my definitive conclusion is that it’s archaic. In 2018, when someone looks at me and tells me they are monitoring daily cash using “an old six column”, it becomes imperative that I make the case for change.

To make that case, you cannot single out the accounting process.  Sometimes those 6 or 12 columns might fit the bill, as much as I hate to admit it.  However, the need to rely on paper must be reviewed when looking at the current strategy of the company, the challenges it faces, and other business conditions. In this case, my professional opinion forces me to inform management that it is a necessity to update the process and the technology.  As a trusted advisor, I know and understand the Company’s future vision; therefore, it’s imperative that they begin channeling the proper resources to support that future vision and current goals.

That being said, change comes with push-back, especially those that will bear the burden. This scenario is no different, and the team has risen to the occasion to defend the current state.

What can make the difference here?

ALIGNMENT… To ensure the highest success of this transformation, executives and the senior management team must present complete alignment with the goals.  Those at the top must embrace and be committed to the change and can demonstrate how achieving the goals will represent success to each employee, and the company.

To fully engage and present such alignment, the executive team must first recognize the value.  In my experience, it seems that those who have the power to make the change are typically the ones pushing back the hardest.  To them “it works”.  They don’t see what the team under them is doing, or how, to make it happen.

My job is to show leadership the powerful impact that this change will have to their organization if they accept the responsibility to lead this change and business transformation, and vice-versa if they fail to align themselves with these goals.  They can then be comfortable leading the charge with their teams for ultimate success.