Controllership – Strategic leadership

Some reading is required prior to training. The documents will be available in your member/client file 7 days prior to the course session.

General objective

Today's controller must fulfill four distinct roles to effectively add value to their organizations: steward, operator, catalyst, and strategist. This course focuses on the last two of these roles for which many controllers may not feel adequately prepared. Too often controllers are caught up in the urgent need of the day without adequate time to focus on their influence as catalysts and strategists within their organizations. This course provides controllers, or those aspiring to the role, the opportunity to view the controllership role as a leader and a key strategic partner within the organization.

Context

Controllers occupy a unique place within the organization working on a daily basis with both operations and executive management. This position affords them the chance to influence all aspects of the organization. In this course, the topic of leadership is first explored along with its various perspectives/theories. Participants will have a chance to reflect on their own leadership style and how that works within their organization. To be an effective leader, controllers must have emotional intelligence and be able to interact with people across the various generations. This course will provide insight and tips for working with people of all ages. Controllers also should be adding significant value as strategic leaders. Strategic planning frameworks and basic strategy development techniques will be reviewed with a particular eye to how the controller can add value to these areas. Finally, the controller’s role as a change/conflict/crisis manager will be considered as this is an area of increasing importance within our changing economic environment.

Objectives

By the end of this course, participants will be able to:

  • Describe the four broad roles of the controller position and identify which role(s) they need to develop most;
  • Understand and describe how the controllership role can be leveraged as a strategic asset for any organization;
  • Identify different perspectives on leadership and understand how their leadership style reflects these perspectives;
  • Describe what emotional intelligence is and how it affects the workplace;
  • Understand how different generations think, work, and interact and identify strategies to work with people from each of the generations;
  • Identify the differences between mission, vision and goals;
  • Describe the formulation of strategies and how controllers can play an important role at each stage of strategy development and implementation;
  • Use tips to become more actively involved in their organization’s strategic planning;
  • Identify ways that performance can be linked to strategy;
  • Understand the controller’s role in change, conflict and crisis management;
  • Identify and use techniques to manage conflict;
  • Describe the controller’s role as a crisis preventer;
  • Identify and use techniques to manage an organization through a crisis.

Topics

  • Controller as a leader
  • Controller as a strategic manager
  • Controller as a change, conflict and crisis manager

Target audience

Finance professionals working towards a controller position or who are new to the position of controller, or long-time controllers looking for new tools/ideas or a refresher on strategic leadership areas of the role.

Note

This training activity will focus on the leadership aspects of the controller’s role and thus, day-to-day operational activities will not be covered in any depth. This training activity will be facilitated through lecture, class discussion, small group work and breakout discussion, and case study review with debriefing opportunities. This will be a highly participative training activity that leverages all the knowledge and experience from the participants in the class.

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