Working with a global luxury goods business to help develop their business partnering capability.

Set against a story of hugely successful global development and growth the finance leadership team were transforming their organisation and systems and processes. With significant investments in information technology and the establishment of a global shared service centre the leadership were committed to supporting these “hard’ investments by equipping all finance staff with a common understanding and approach to “finance business partnering.” Given the success of the business, the finance department had recruited a wide range of best in class professionals drawn from top businesses and leading professional services firms. The challenge was to build on this knowledge and expertise by building a coherent sense of identity and understanding of how finance should operate to maintain the rapid growth and success of the business.

Over a period of several months we conducted a series of intensive three-day skills development workshops that embedded a common business partner language and operating approach across the large and high quality professional group. Our work was also combined and integrated with other external advisers who equipped the team with a range of powerful analytical problem solving tools and techniques. The effect being to create a common finance team style and brand when dealing with the rest of the business. Our workshops were also supplemented by a series of focused one day follow-up sessions several months later that combined a timely summary of past learning but also a review of current progress and on-going challenges. Critical to the success of the approach was the continued presence and support of the Chief Financial Officer: who opened and introduced all the sessions, and his direct team. More than one year on the feedback from the Finance Leadership Team has been highly positive and the business continues to drive forward with great success.