Frequently Asked Questions
My business unit does not have a complete income statement and balance sheet
This is more the rule than the exception. The course delivers specific techniques that enables full financial communication and evaluation using incomplete information.
My business improvement programs span multiple business units. As a result there is no set of financial statements that directly represents the scope of what I do.
This is a common position for most business improvement experts. The beauty of the financial statements is they have no silos or political structures. Everything you do is reflected in the financial statements. We will show you how to identify this causality so you can gain greater support for cross functional projects
I am not an accountant, Is this an accounting course and is it for me?
This is not an accounting course.. This course hones your financial acumen so you can make better business decisions and give you the communication skills to rally others in your organization to higher levels of performance.
Is this all about the numbers? Numbers don't talk to me.
Aha. A key area. Higher value projects generally span functional areas (silo's?) or even penetrate supplier or customer processes. Gaining support for the change agenda is not so much about your technical mastery as your ability to communicate and generate a call to action.
This course deciphers the financial statements and breaks it down into a powerful story. The story method plus the analytical rigor will help you communicate more powerfully and get your constituents to act.
We measure the financial impact of all improvement projects. How will this course help us?
Donald Sull’s research reported in Harvard Business Review Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It gives some insight into what business leaders struggle with.
In surveying 8,000 managers in more than 250 companies he found people are not working on their strategic priorities :
SBTI's observation over 20 years working with over 10,000 change leaders is much of the time companies are not working on the right projects.
What this course will do is enable you to use the financial statements to identify the right projects that deliver the greatest increase in shareholder value.
My company does not share detailed financial data with its employees
If you are a publicly traded company you publish your financials for your shareholders. It is the ultimate scorecard. It is therefore imperative you understand the connection between day to day execution and the value expressed in the financials.
The same logic applies to privately held companies. It is not unusual for us to meet owners who are reticent about sharing their numbers. A good book to read that would illuminate the danger in this lack of transparency is "The Great Game of Business" by Jack Stack.
What value can this course bring me over what my finance department can offer?
As a change leader part of your role is to ensure a tight linkage between financial results and the projects that underpin improvement. Blending financial acumen with day to day business operations will give you a unique advantage to identify and deliver projects that move the dial.
Our continuous improvement (CI) program is guided by one of two approaches and identifies the improvement agenda. We don't need another method:
1: Top down – we break down strategy and business goals into CI clusters. From those clusters we find good projects.
2: Bottom up – we go to Gemba and observe our processes and listen to our customer’s feedback. From this we identify CI projects that have a direct effect on either customer satisfaction or employee satisfaction or both. We don’t need to look in the financial statements to find things to improve.
We agree these lean and six sigma methods define and identify continuous improvement projects.
Our position is: in a world of discontinuous change, continuous improvement is not enough.
The highest value projects are complex and often hidden from view. By default then no-one is working on them. The methodology you will learn on this course will help you mine for those projects and be able to make a more significant difference.
As VP of Strategy Mick helps SBTI’s clients design their improvement agenda so their day-to-day execution activities manifest as increased shareholder value within their ultimate scorecard of their financial statements. He has over 30 years of consulting experience serving Fortune 1000 companies.
Hear what George has to say