From experience, many in-house legal, finance, contracting teams often feel, and often are, peripheral players in their organisation. Common complaints include, “we’re not involved early enough”, and “we’re always fighting a rearguard action to protect the company”.
Yet increasingly c-suites view functional teams as key enablers to value creation and innovation. Yet being a peripheral player can often undermine achieving this.
Moving in from the periphery can take considerable time but there are things that you can do to improve the situation.
Central to most businesses is their strategy, but often when you’re on the periphery, there can be many individual links to get back to that strategy.
Just think, how long is it before your whole team is briefed on the strategy (if at all)? How many layers does it go through to get to your team? And what is the impact of the ‘lag’ and ‘distortion’ that this all potentially creates?
When it comes to enacting the strategy, are you able to articulate why you’re going down the particular route? If you can’t then how can you brief, and get value for money from the external advisers without being able to?
Creating a strong 2-way ‘line of sight’ from your organisation’s strategy to individual actions is fundamental, yet many functional professionals feel uncomfortable in this area, and would struggle to give a three minute or 30 minute presentation on the organisation’s strategy?
Without this ability, it’s unlikely that you will be able to deliver optimal advice and solutions that support the organisations strategy. Equally it makes it even more difficult for your external advisers to provide advice that is meaningful in the context of what you’re trying to achieve and which meets your desire for value for money.
Creating your, or your teams, ‘line of sight’ is a key activity that can have a disproportionate impact both for you and your team but also in demonstrating to the wider organisation your commerciality.