A newly appointed CFO of a major Canadian utility was tasked with improving the service quality of the strategy, finance, and IT functions of the organization. Not only were the functions not delivering value to their customers, they were not collaborating effectively and had significant internal dysfunction and misalignment.
The CFO needed to find a way to show the teams the value of working differently, supporting the business differently, and ultimately seeing the connection between how they worked and the outcomes they created.
STRAAD supported the CFO and 65 leaders across the functions through a multi-year journey that helped them understand their own case for change, build an integrated strategic direction, develop a culture they could all trust in, foster a community, and develop their skills as future-focused change leaders.
The results started to show within 6 months – the business was able to manage their assets more effectively with improved financial data, the organization was able to stand-up a strategy team that could help the board and executives in thinking over the long-term, the teams had less conflict which reduced HR and leader’s time spent on people issues, and the impending EPR was able to be implemented because end-to-end processes were starting to come to life.
This also allowed for talent development and succession planning across the team. The now CFO of this organization was a director, a key win for the company.
Operating in silos, poor communication and ingrained team conflict were brewing within the finance, strategy, and IT functions at a major Canadian utility company. While a lack of team effectiveness was felt and visible on the surface, the knock-on effect on the wider organization was even more profound. The teams were delivering poor results in the business, not providing strategic support, and were operating reactively instead of with a customer-centric focus.
The functions also had limited competency and capability in their service offerings and accountabilities. The organization was on the cusp of an evolution, but the leaders were unable to lead and execute strategy articulation and enterprise portfolio planning. These capabilities were necessary not only to enable the organization to reach new heights, but also to ensure that the leaders, teams and people were all able to contribute effectively.
STRAAD partnered directly with the CFO and started small. Our Discovery phase focused on building rapport and trust with the senior leadership team, and gaining an understanding of their individual functional gaps, needs, and ways of working. We learned during Discovery that the team’s mandates and responsibilities were unclear, and we leveraged these insights as we moved into our next phase – Design.
We designed a workshop-based model where leaders came together to define their respective team mandates and accountabilities, and identified the steps necessary to close gaps in their service quality. This included understanding the needs of the business and hearing direct feedback from internal and external customers on service improvements.
Turning Design into Delivery, STRAAD’s fourth D, each function was given the respective support necessary to evolve its mandates and capabilities. For some function leaders, this included hands-on facilitated support to implement new tools and resources, and for other leaders, a fit-for-purpose approach was developed and applied to meet the client’s needs and leadership intentions.
Following workshops, resource sharing, and one-to-one coaching and support from STRAAD, the 65 leaders were brought back together to focus on learning, community building, and leadership development. This resulted in a meeting cadence that helped the teams see the results of their efforts in action, surface learnings, and illuminate what wasn’t working. It also unlocked a customized leadership development journey for leaders to embark on that focused on improving their personal innovation, strategic change, and collaboration skills.
This was a four-year journey that saw both the Finance and IT functions improve their offerings and capabilities across the organization. New leaders were also hired to forge new ground, and existing leaders were promoted based on an evolved sense of direction and support.
Are you ready to unlock your organization’s performance and embark on a journey where passion and innovation converge? Contact us today, and together, let’s create a meaningful impact in the world.