All businesses need a strategy and all strategies need to be carefully timed. Heads of Finance have always been critical in determining when to execute strategies to give their company the greatest chance of success. Well-timed financial strategy is key to growing the company and negating problematic issues so that the business can make the most of its current position.
The timing of strategy execution has always been critically important. Changes that affect the whole company or represent a significant shift in process have the potential to damage the business. If you implement large changes without proper consideration and planning, unexpected issues can derail any potential success. But wait too long and you could miss the boat: the opportunity passes or the problem you were aiming to solve has affected your business already.
Getting the timing right
While technology has been an incredible boost to companies over the last 30 years, it’s made it very difficult to ascertain when the right time to roll out a new financial strategy is. Change is happening at a much faster rate than ever before. However, technology has also created direct links between finance departments and almost every other section of the business, meaning that shifts in financial strategy can have instant impacts.
CFOs are now much more closely linked to other departments, which can provide them with a huge amount of information and a deeper understanding of how shifts in procedure or strategic thinking will affect the business as a whole, allowing potential problems to be mitigated. The digitisation of services means that it’s now possible to assess and implement changes much more quickly than before. Updating strategies doesn’t need to take months.
Start the process
There are no rules as to when the time is right to launch large, companywide updates to strategy or process. The likelihood of success has usually rested on the Finance Officer being able to spot the potential benefits or problems in advance and take the appropriate action. Factors such as geographical, political or financial forces external to the company can all affect the timing. Understanding them requires an in-depth understanding of the entire market.
This is one of the reasons why the University of York now provides a 100% online Masters degree in Finance, Leadership and Management, giving students financial and leadership skills to implement shifts in strategy. As all learning materials are delivered online, you have the option to study whenever it suits you, keeping your current role and applying what you learn straight away. There are also options to pay-per-module and begin on one of six start dates throughout the year, giving you a flexible way to gain a prestigious Russell Group university MSc.
It’s never 100% guaranteed that finance leaders will know the perfect time to execute any strategic shift, but the knowledge you gain from this Masters degree about the world of finance and wider business markets, in addition to leadership skills, give you the best chance to make the best choice.