Business transformation starts at the top. But it cannot be achieved by mandate alone.
To create lasting change that shapes future success, executives must act as the example – embodying the cultural shifts they want to see while also motivating and empowering every line of business, department, team, and employee to work independently toward a shared vision for the future.
When it comes to achieving business agility, employee satisfaction, and future growth, finance and IT leaders play a particularly critical role. With global economies and markets in constant flux, it has never been more important for these business areas to work together to provide the transformational leadership needed to thrive and prosper in the face of change.
So, what does it mean to be a transformational leader?
To begin with, one must recognize when the old ways of working aren’t working any longer – and act quickly to pivot into new business models. This requires breaking down organizational siloes that slow down communication, collaboration, and decision-making – getting in the way of achieving common goals. It also requires giving employees the tools, resources, and development opportunities they need to innovate and take risks – allowing them to develop into transformational leaders themselves.
The right technology – including smart automation, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and advanced analytics – is crucial to your ability to future-proof your business and scale with growth. So is your ability to manage cash flow, control spending, and accurately budget and forecast for the future. What better place, then, for finance and IT to come together to give employees and executives the tools they need to improve financial insight, spend compliance, and cost controls?
Whether you already have some degree of finance process digitalization or are still managing expenses, travel, and vendor invoices using paper, e-mail, and spreadsheets, there are always new automation opportunities available to make these processes more efficient, effective, and compliant. Not only will you reduce the risk of human error, rogue spend, and wasted budget, you will also save time on tedious, repetitive tasks – allowing employees to stay focused on value-adding, strategic work. Plus, with cloud-based, mobile-ready solutions, you can be sure to keep operations up and running even when your office is not.
Another factor to consider is employee satisfaction. There is nothing more frustrating for a tech-savvy worker than clunky systems, tedious manual processes, and constant rework. Work-life balance is also critical to employee engagement and health – making flexibility a hot commodity. In an increasingly competitive labor market, your ability to provide visionary leadership supported by cutting-edge technology that allows your people to work from anywhere is a key differentiator.
The bottom line is that agility keeps employees happy and is the engine of business growth.
By coming together to provide near real-time visibility into spending and cash flow, finance and IT leaders make it possible for their companies to generate the data they need to gain insights and act quickly – whatever the future may hold. With the right expense and invoice management technology, employees have the tools they need to make sure their spending is compliant and their reports are correct before they are ever submitted. Managers get automated prompts when it’s time to approve, eliminating the need to chase down who has what. And automated processing means auditing and accounts payable teams spend less time on exception handling. On top of all that, business leaders have the complete spend data and insight they need to identify trends, optimize supplier contracts, and make forecasts months in advance.
But none of this can happen in a vacuum.
It is up to finance and IT to set the example by joining forces to become the strategic partners and transformational leaders the rest of the company needs them to be. Your organization and your people are full of great ideas – it’s up to you to offer the vision and make the investment in the tools they need to stay agile and engaged as you grow and scale into the future.
To find out more about how transformational leaders can make the most out of spend management technology, read our latest e-book. Then visit us online to see how SAP Concur solutions can give you and your employees the power and agility you need to grow and thrive – whatever the future may bring.