#368: Becoming architects of our organizations with Francesca Valli

Our Guest Mentor: 

Francesca Valli is currently a Finance Transformation Advisor & Consultant at Chrys Finance Transformation. Francesca has led a number of global finance & accounting transformations for a number of recognisable global brands with expertise in Finance & accounting processing cycles; Technologies, in particular ERP and analytics; Delivery capabilities; and Change Management within Finance. 

Although originally from Italy, Francesca is currently based out of London, England. 

Key Quotes from the Episode: 

[Finance people on taking Technology today] “So you need to do finance people, finance and accounting. People go get yourself some software and technology experience, right. Because. Now more than ever. It’s absolutely essential.” [12:26] 

[Finance and Accounting as a key factor for business development] “They are the architects of your organization. They are the economic guardian of your organization. So that kind of reorientation of their role on. Not just doing closing the books historically and sending a report out.”  [19:29] 

[Automation for Finance and technology] “…  you’ve now used the right adjective. It’s a rapid evolution. This world it’s coming fast because technology, the software vendors are very clever. Technology is developing increasingly, et cetera. So how do we prepare for their work in the context of the transformation? So for me, within the principles of let’s demystify, all the let’s keep the world simple.” [24:56] 

Key Points from the Episode: 

  • How Artificial intelligence is really cognitive intelligence automation when applied to finance & accounting teams 
  • Three things finance can do to become the architects of our organizations 
  • Why Technology is more an evolution than revolution and how we can benefit from the current technology trends in accounting & finance.  

Stamped Show Notes 

[02:55] Francesca gives a quick introduction to her career journey 

[05:38] Francesca talks about her move from Finance into I.T. 

[11:23] Francesca discusses the approaches towards building the capabilities relevant for today and still relevant for the future. 

[18:53] Francesca explains the role of monitoring numbers with sustainability and development goals. 

[22:48] Francesca shares her thoughts about finance people and the integration of machine learning. 

[25:24] Francesca’s shares three important things for fellow finance and accounting to benefit from the current technology trends in accounting & finance. 

[35:11] Francesca mentions the best advice she has ever received 

[37:14] Resources that Francesca recommends 

[39:30] Where best to connect and continue the conversation  

[40:14] Francesca gives her parting thoughts for the audience 

Resources Mentioned: 

How To Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie  (Author) 

Connect with today’s guest: 

LinkedIn:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/francescavalli/ 

Website: https://chrys.online/ 

Full Transcript: 

#368: Becoming architects of our organizations with Francesca Valli 


[00:00:30] Andrew: Hi everyone. And welcome to this week’s strength in the numbers. 

[00:00:33] And today I’ve a bit of an interesting take to share with you from today’s gas mentor, 

[00:00:38] who is Francesca Valli And Francesca believes that the role of the CFO and the finance and accounting organization is ultimately a role of being the architects of our organization, particularly when we consider it in the context of a rapid evolution of technology around us. And that’s why we get into covering a number of different areas. 

[00:00:58] Actually not only I feel help us today in our current work, but also helps us maybe prepare some of the ground for the future of things to come by making use of some, the trends that Francesca identifies. 

[00:01:11] So some of the key takeaways in this episode is really one when we look at the context of what we do and our work is essentially about cognitive intelligence, automation. I’m Francesca share some ideas on how we can apply that to best juice based on her experience on leading many finance and accounting transformation programs, at a number of global well recognizable brands. 

[00:01:33] We go a bit deeper into the, say, three things that finance can do to become those architects of our organizations. And also why technology is more of an evolution, not necessarily a revolution in this day and age. 

[00:01:47] I where finance and accounting professionals could perhaps benefit most from those trends and how we can leverage and best to get the most out of our careers and become more influential within our organization. 

[00:02:00] So look, hope you enjoyed this week’s episode. If you did, we really appreciate it. When you share the show with your friends, you can subscribe on all the major platforms, iTunes, Stitcher, SoundCloud, YouTube, Spotify, and Amazon music. If you want, find out more about Francesca, some of our key quotes, full transcripts, how to best connect and more you can find [email protected] 

[00:02:20] and as always, really appreciate you tuning in today. Anyway, that’s enough for me for now. So without further ado, over to Francesca and the show.  

[00:02:27] So Francesca, welcome to the show. 

[00:02:32] Francesca: Thank you, Andrew. I’m very happy to be here.  

[00:02:35] Andrew: I was just delighted. We could reconnect again and share our conversation with our audience, because like I’ve said previously on phone, we put this on a podcast. We’re here now together, but before we jump into some areas to discussion, share with our audience, would you mind maybe just taking them through a brief story of your career. 

[00:02:53] Francesca: Sure I can do today. So Andrew, you know, I’m Italian, you know, I moved to London as a young woman and, I needed to be starting my career. There. And then I have to say, even though the level of my English or very late, let’s call it just because I’d studied accountancy in Italy. So when I came to London, I immediately went to work for a big American corporation, the Intercontinental hotels in the finance and accounting office. 

[00:03:26] And that’s how I started. I started my career with financing and accounting line roles. If you like. Eventually in the mid nineties, I went into I.T.. And, from there I opened up a career in, technology, but also a career in a transformation in programs of transformation and a career in traveling around the world for work. And, I ended up if you like, from that point, going up that particular ladder, program management program believed very and transformation, stakeholder engagement. Now the, and then the pandemic period for me was great because it gave me a moment of reflection and I thought after a heavy career. Heavy operational career in finance, accounting, I.T. Programs. 

[00:04:30] I want to give something back, becoming an advisor to the CFO and really share the learning share of the learning I’ve made. I’ve seen how easy it is to destroy value through programs that are actually not well planned and delivered. So.  

[00:04:54] Andrew: Actually there’s some really great points in there. Well, the one we I’d love to touch on is how can we avoid destroying the value? I think a lot of us are fearful of that. Particularly when in finance, we’re sort of expected to be able to spot those things happening, but where I’d like to maybe go is actually much further back in your career and that move from. 

[00:05:13] Your accounting and finance foundations, you role as a controller, assistant controller, making that step to I.T, and then taking on the program management path and then all that travel. What was that like a fairly deliberate move or was it more of like an accidental move into I.T.? Was it following an interest or was it just something that happened and you grasp then and did very well at it. 

[00:05:39] Francesca: move the finance director I was working with at the time within Guinness and moved to another part of the Guinness world United distillers, and wanted to take. With him. I was at that point management accountant in the Guinness head office. He wanted to take me with, him ma and he said, you can have a management accountant role, or you can be data manager for Euro. 

[00:06:09] And I thought, right, that’s my chance to get into I.T.. 

[00:06:14] because I knew in the mid nineties, And now this is the venal part of my personality that comes out. I knew in the mid-nineties decks with the Y2K in  

[00:06:28] Andrew: yeah. 

[00:06:29] Francesca: each show, that would be a good career to be made. If you knew I.T..  

[00:06:36] Andrew: Well, at least to the year, 2000 for some of our younger audience, because the Y2K bug, we were all fearful of it at the time. Right.  

[00:06:42] Francesca: Absolutely. Yeah. We told the world will come to it. Absolutely. And then, I mean, it wasn’t dumb squid.  

[00:06:50] Andrew: Yeah. Yeah. Well, actually I have to say that was probably the worst new year’s Eve I ever had actually, like I was expecting so much stuff to happen. It was a bit, yeah, it was just like, oh right. Was that what it was all about  

[00:07:00] Francesca: And do I was there by that time I was actually, I’d gone. I’d become a system analyst. Okay. So coming from my finance background that I wanted to do programs, I wanted to work in projects of transformation. So I was. The system analyst for the ERP application. Right. So I knew I’d learned then all the, if you like architecture or ERP back there, the Y2K new years, we were all there thinking, oh my God, you know, analysis, we need to be able to immediately respond to any. Which that was, there was none. So I ended up celebrating on my roof with champagne, looking at the fireworks, coming down towards, on the teams. So  

[00:07:54] Andrew: Well, yeah, you had a much better one than me. Yeah. Yeah. I probably should’ve stayed in London for that one. I was actually, I think I was actually over in Ireland for that  

[00:08:01] Francesca: right. Right,  

[00:08:02] right.  

[00:08:02] Andrew: I’ve had many, I’ve had many, I don’t think I’ve had many good ones since, as well to make up for it. 

[00:08:06] Francesca: You don’t hide in other important one, which is this? Yes. My moving to I.T. Was absolutely. I wanted to work in that with technology. I go into technology a little bit more later, but also the other aspect is that. Coming from Italy. I wanted suddenly I found myself here in London, in the UK, and I could make the most of the deregulated labor markets at that point, when as a professional, you could set yourself up as a, the company and operating that in that way, you know? 

[00:08:47] And that was an amazing experience because in Italy and, and again, I come from a very entrepreneurial. Culture of Northern Italy. What are, you will work hard. You will do well. A lot of that wasn’t open to me as a woman in those days. Right. And of course, when I came here immediately working with the American company where meritocracy was a key value. So, yes, you worked hard, but you got promoted. As I said, you know, I started with the, with the junior award, but I became a, within the space of a few years, assistant financial controller from speaking, even speaking little English. So that kind of deregulated labor markets, which points to the importance of the environment in which we work. 

[00:09:40] Right. And also he points to the import stance. I think here’s another lesson that I’ve learned in my career to keeping your ears and eyes to the ground. How is the word developing around you? How’s the word around you? How can you make the most of it? And then yeah, How can you. Really understand where the world is going so you can stay relevant. 

[00:10:11] Andrew: yeah, yeah. Say, yeah, stay relevant or avoid being irritable. Actually. That was, I know we were talking about books earlier. Right. But okay. Off-air. Yeah, that’s another thing I would just to realize we’ve had a few conversations now and we talk a lot about different stuff, whatever, but actually that I actually that’s exactly the subtitle of the first book I wrote was about real. 

[00:10:31] How do we remain relevant? And I, it’s interesting that the more I talk to folks in the podcast, and I know there’s kind of a, feel more of a sh probably should be looking to spend that time with our ear to the ground and keeping our eyes wide open because. You know, we are busy. It’s important to work hard for the now, but what about the future? 

[00:10:51] Are we developing the right capabilities? And actually you made a very good point about the environment. What you felt you to success was would have been more challenging back in Italy because the environment, perhaps wasn’t there to foster that. And I can completely agree again, my own career journey, but actually, maybe we’ll just go on to sort of the capabilities aspect, right? 

[00:11:10] You’re based on what you’ve seen and understood and written, reflecting on Francesca, like what approaches should our audience be taken towards the capabilities that will set them up well for today and to remain relevant into tomorrow? 

[00:11:22] Francesca: that’s a great question, Andrew. I was reading the other day in a, in research by a software vendor. And I can’t tell you now the size of the research, right? I’ve got this data somewhere, but the point about day was, The results of their research was at 31% of global CFO respondents to their research. 

[00:11:50] By the way, there, the software vendor is BlackLine. If it’s any interest to anyone is a one of the new software vendors with which they have developed the concept of the continuous reconciliation, continuous accounting, and so on. They’re a very reputable. Company. So 31% of global CFO respondents say they do not currently have enough people with software and technology experience within the finance function. 

[00:12:24] Right? So you need to do finance people, finance and accounting. People go get yourself some software and technology experience, right. Because. Now more than ever. It’s absolutely essential. Now, Andrew, you probably wouldn’t be surprised to know that I’m possibly the last generation that has learned accounting, accountancy manually. 

[00:12:53] Okay. So for me, you know, debit and credit posting a jerk to the general ledger, literally meant a big book you wrote on the right left. You wrote on the right you’re reconciled, et cetera. So as I grew into my profession and there’s technology staff supporting finance and accounting, When you post the journal and you click on saying, I know exactly what seed Hinden behind the click. Save. I know the processes, the manual real world processes behind that. And you know what that did to me, totally demystify the technology. I’m not scared of the technology because, oh, that’s what that means. Right? Debit here, credit there. And you reconcile the balance difference. Right. And that really helps me. 

[00:13:51] To me greatly getting to I.T.. I was never scared of the, technology thinking, oh, I don’t understand. I don’t know. I don’t know what that does. And that actually helped me. And it is actually helping me even now, because last year, a couple of years ago, I. course at the London school of economics on automation, technology in business. 

[00:14:18] Right. And I learned about the new emerging technology that. Robotic process automation and all the various cognitive intelligent automation, like machine learning, natural language processing, et cetera. And that means now I can have on a par conversation with a vendor or with a CIO when they tell me, oh, it’s all artificial intelligence, whether it is a real. 

[00:14:48] Is it. Okay. So that’s the important thing the finance and accounting people must do. And it’s exciting, right? It’s like the emerging technology world is brilliant.  

[00:15:00] Andrew: yeah, I completely agree with you on Jessica and even in my own world, working with multinationals, like I it’s, I don’t know. Maybe my path is, it was very different obviously, but I do find myself working more and more with I.T.. And having those conversations. And I think I agree with you. I think that level of understanding around w. 

[00:15:22] Completely demystifies it, particularly with the bigger ERP projects we were probably involved in, in our careers. And then on top of that, I, my father bought me a Xanax spectrum or those very young, and I was demystified programming for me. Now. I’m not a program. I just don’t have to patients now to a program. 

[00:15:41] But you know, it like when you can do cool things, like build like arcade machines by doing a bit of a. In Python for instance, or, you know, do a bit of simple CQL to retrieve some, some data points as well. And, not that I do it much now, but like I know the processes that have, I can beat that link between I.T. And finance,  

[00:16:01] Francesca: Exactly and you know,  

[00:16:03] Andrew: I think that’s important now with the. 

[00:16:05] Francesca: absolutely. Quite apart from anything, we’re not just talking about being smart, we talking about a lucrative career, right?  

[00:16:14] Andrew: I think we talked about being relevant, you know, like how do we be relevant tomorrow? Well, what is a growing asset, but it’s an organizations while it’s their data. And apparently, I don’t know if it’s a current statistic, but I remember hearing. 10% of data’s only getting access by their organizations. So think about what’s being on tapped into and think about the cost of storing our necessary data and making sure that you have the relevant data to make decisions upon as well to the cost of not getting the right. 

[00:16:42] I think there’s a lucrative space there for accounting and finance professionals to get into, to remain relevant to that area. And then, you know, if they want it to add further full suite to that, eh, being able to communicate that, tell stories about the data, help people make better decisions can build up on that. 

[00:16:59] If you want to, or partner with those who can do that and make an awesome team. 

[00:17:03] Francesca: But Andrew, you have now touched on about five different, exciting  

[00:17:09] Andrew: the stock, right? 

[00:17:11] Francesca: because we are now talking about data science, right? So you talked about your earlier experience as a developer. Now, how much would it take you to learn a bit of time to them so that you can really understand. Right.  

[00:17:28] Andrew: Well, actually I joke a bit, but I actually have on my desk, a book called sequel in 10 minutes. So it doesn’t take that long. It’s more like applied knowledge, really, you know, it’s drive the words and actually on data science, if you’ve got a good statistical foundation. And I know a lot of people who come into accounting and finance do, it was actually one of my first paid jobs at college was I was a statistic’s student. 

[00:17:50] You know, and again, that demystifies the challenge with a lot of the data science models, you can talk their language 

[00:17:57] Francesca: you know, I have to say one of the things that I have, Glad that I studied accountancy when I was a young woman in Italy, is that it gives you such an understanding of numbers and do not underestimate that in your life. Nevermind in your profession. Right.  

[00:18:15] Andrew: Yeah, I’d love to get told numbers, right? Because like the numbers are important historically have been the financial transactions, driving profit loss, cashflow, so on. But, you know, we, I suppose I’ve been hearing a lot about climate change and world leaders and business executives. 

[00:18:32] Yeah, the cop 26 in Glasgow, you know, do you feel we have much of a role in Francesca in monitoring the numbers associated with sustainability and the sustainable development goals and ESG and making sure we’re doing more of the right things for, so it was non-financial transaction. So I guess making sure we’re tracking those numbers too. 

[00:18:52] Francesca: It’s the big question, right? Because I think there’s a lot of, lack of clarity about E S E E S G as well as it’s always a lot of gold dust thrown everywhere and there, and you know,  

[00:19:09] Andrew: everywhere. Yeah.  

[00:19:10] Francesca: all, any confused is everything, but it is true to say that. The CFO. Now this is the finance leadership, anybody in finance and accounting, whole is changing, right? 

[00:19:28] They are the architects of your organization. They are the economic guardian of your organization. So that kind of reorientation of their role on. Not just doing closing the books historically and sending a report out. It’s about actually sitting at the key table and working through all these elements because you talked about context area. 

[00:19:55] Well, this is all we talked about. The context area, the world around us. This is the new world around us ESG. Now there isn’t a company that doesn’t have any ESG. I don’t know, there’s a lot of time, but I’ve got ESG strategies now because it’s important. Now the key element of that is important is understanding the data, the figures behind it, the dollars behind it. 

[00:20:24] I know better than the finance and the accounting.  

[00:20:27] Andrew: Yeah, I agree. I do we ended up with, a lady on from, from Africa saying like, you know, what are you drive? What do you love about accounting and finance? She loves the fact that we can put structure around things. We can develop the right policies and procedures off the back of it. You know, we can connect different parts of the business together. 

[00:20:44] You know, there’s so much we can do to remain relevant. 

[00:20:47] Francesca: And the other aspect that you bring out again now, but you touched on earlier that plugs into the changing role of finance professionals. So up until now, we’ve all like to be XL with kids, right? Because you do everything on Excel, even no matter what your, what a. Greatly configure your ERP. But my God, the company that doesn’t use excite in particular for budget and forecasting, with all these complicated macros and nobody ends up understanding anymore. I said all these technology related to predictive analytics, predictive forecasting comes in and even a simple tool like Microsoft power BI is great a day without being a monster of an application. Once you, once the technology is so good at supporting your forecasting required. Well, then what you need is your finance. 

[00:21:54] People are not the whiz kids in Excel. They are the people that can explain the visualization of the data to the rest of the organization. That’s a very powerful role for finance and then other very powerful skill and competence to have in your.  

[00:22:16] Andrew: I know. I agree. I think we built some nice little sort of stack there of, conferences. Is that B now I maybe, if we take it to a higher level for the organization, some of the finance leaders out there as well is what sort of things should they be doing, I suppose, to approach this digital world or, you know, actually I’m going to borrow from the fifth industrial revolution concept of enhanced cognitive. 

[00:22:40] Intelligence that’s sort of coming together of machine and human, which is probably the world. How do we get ready for that world? 

[00:22:47] Francesca: Right. So now they saturate a great fall course. Great light that you’ve thrown onto the transformation, if you like, because. That will this coming right there. world? 

[00:23:05] is going to be here. I’ve just written a blog called the, what is the cost? I must read it out to you because I think it’s quite  

[00:23:16] Andrew: is this like fresh off the press or is it  

[00:23:18] Francesca: off the price, fresher of the price here, right? The blob is called automation and it’s discontent, but I’m quoting technologies that a is in the, in a fantastic book called the glass cage. Why, who needs humans anyway by Nicola scar? And it’s. What’s the cost of machines that think is people don’t okay. 

[00:23:50] So there’s a whole debate around automation and what it can do, et cetera. Nevertheless, automation is coming right? The not  

[00:23:59] Andrew: just speak. I just be clear that when we say automation, I think we’re most familiar with RPA, but you’re talking maybe about a slight enhanced type of automation. 

[00:24:08] Francesca: I’m talking about, what is called the. What the software vendor called artificial intelligence. But in fact, it’s actually cognitive intelligence automation. Okay. And that is they, that is automation. That is simply not so simply the technology is fantastic, but what we say there we are the machine learning that builds and learn from the increased the volume of data sets then we throw at it the natural language processing, computer vision, et cetera, et cetera. Yes, I am talking about that. The technology,  

[00:24:51] Andrew: It’s an evolution. It’s a rapid. Yeah,  

[00:24:54] Francesca: well you’ve now used the right adjective. It’s a rapid evolution. This world it’s coming fast because technology, the software vendors are very clever. Technology is developing increasingly, et cetera. So how do we prepare for their work in the context of the transformation? So for me, within the principles of let’s demystify, all the let’s keep the world simple. 

[00:25:22] Right? The important things are three things I would say. We’ll do like to pass on to my fellow finance and accounting, people, first of all, be strategic, always be strategic. Don’t start automating just because it’s a passion of the moment.  

[00:25:44] Andrew: Oh, yeah. Got it. Yeah, definitely. 

[00:25:46] Francesca: So be strategic. So standard that. Standardized first, all your processes optimize. 

[00:25:52] You may need to think about, relocate some functions, according to whatever principle you may need to think about putting in some enabling technology. Now, technology is so great to the cloud solution and by enabling technologies, I mean, from the character recognition, if you like to read the invoice.  

[00:26:16] Andrew: Yeah.  

[00:26:17] Francesca: Yeah, but also exactly,  

[00:26:21] Andrew: playing around with  

[00:26:21] Francesca: exactly. Then the portal and I, the portal for your purchase to pay end to end processes where the vendor help themselves. Self-help right. And the PO is flipped. So they takes one second. Into an invoice, et cetera. So, but only then that. 

[00:26:45] automate, don’t put teenage automation technologies just because you want to you’re panicking and you want to follow the fashion, do all day then automate and never automate a bad process.  

[00:26:58] Andrew: yeah, exactly. It took the words out my mouth and, and also another thing I’m going to throw in there as well as is don’t do it just to do for the sake of reducing cost.  

[00:27:05] Francesca: Yes.  

[00:27:06] Andrew: you know? You know, cause cause like that’s the cost minimizing mindset, you know, it, if you do it, bring in a technology, do it for a good reason. 

[00:27:14] You’re trying to optimize value in some way. You’re trying to be more strategic. You’re trying, you know. Yes. I know people are a big cost driver and it’s, you know, technology allows you to take the cost out, but you know, try and be a bit more strategic about it and yeah. If you think that the value aspect, then you’re going to maximize the results. 

[00:27:32] Whereas if you think costs, all they’re going to get is minimization and minimization and, and it’s a race to the bottom  

[00:27:38] Francesca: And it takes you, correct. and it takes you to the wrong place, right? You want to open up your ambitions.  

[00:27:46] Andrew: Yeah, because technology is an enabler, as you said, it’s a, it’s an enabling piece, right? Why would you want to enable minimization? 

[00:27:52] You want to enable? Probably maximizations over would hope. 

[00:27:54] Francesca: And the other thing, going back to the strategy, you know, the London school of economics would tell you that two are the reasons for the behind the failure of this programs of transformation. This, this, this doctrinal value that we refer to, One is the Lack of a strategic approach. So just go random or go to the bottom or go just for the sake  

[00:28:21] Andrew: of 

[00:28:21] strategic approach. Yes. 

[00:28:22] Francesca: a lack of strategic approaches, the number one, and number two is a lack of change management capabilities, right? 

[00:28:31] So here is where I come onto my own because I feel very strongly about change management. It’s a new, very misunderstood. But per se, psych of knowledge or practices, right?  

[00:28:44] Andrew: Yeah. 

[00:28:45] Francesca: Either, because people start talking about people and culture, and then nobody knows what the hell we mean by that because every, each one of us has a meaning of culture is probably different. 

[00:28:55] Right. And everything. I actually something else. Andrew, not only I’ve learnt a lot about different cultures in my travel, but I have a degree in social anthropology.  

[00:29:08] Andrew: Oh, geez. Actually, I actually didn’t know that I it’s the first time we’ve talked about that,  

[00:29:13] Francesca: Yes,  

[00:29:13] Andrew: I didn’t know that. So what is, what is  

[00:29:15] Francesca: Oh my God. What is social  

[00:29:17] Andrew: I think I know. I think I know what anthropology is, but what is social  

[00:29:20] Francesca: It’s basically anywhere nice of the fact that everybody has a culture there. Isn’t such a thing as, Ooh. You know, the West is a more refined culture simply Because we go to the theater, we go to this whatever concept. Culturally, simply the collection of the past stones and the habits that people have that people develop for living together. 

[00:29:49] Okay. So that’s what it is. I love the all day. Okay. I love them. They’re not just the study of culture, but I also then became interested very much in the study of cooperation, which is the way that the mind work, which is great for. Ah, background to the study of automation technology that I’m doing now, you see, I now make it sound, Andrew. 

[00:30:16] I make it sound that there is such a coherence to my career. That probably isn’t so much.  

[00:30:24] Andrew: well, you’ve done a great job, I think, and I think I’m already into a degree that you’ve rationalized it very well, but I think you brought it around nicely because you’ve just brought us up through the technological angle, do the, the machine piece. And you’re also tied in there with the human piece, quite nicely with culture as well. 

[00:30:40] So. 

[00:30:41] Francesca: that is change, change management. So for me, change management, right? Very simple. Number one, you need to plan change management, practices within the delivery. Right. You know, the delivery, you’ve got all the various work stream for, from design to development to testing. Change somehow. Oh, well there without being integrated, that’s why it doesn’t work. But if you plan your change management, your business excitement’s group into the kind of work stream, thinking that underpins. That’s your best way to, ensure that not only you launch by you drive adoption because people, people are engaged, not through some kind of ridiculous once a month newsletter, but through business focused governance practices that underpin a program of transformation. 

[00:31:42] So there’s a number. Okay. But one strategy And two is change. 

[00:31:47] Andrew: And again, again, I do think, I do think that change piece accounting and finance professionals can be very strong at that because, you know, just substitute the transactions and monitoring transactions and recording it with monitoring engagement, you know, because that is  

[00:32:02] Francesca: engagement, engagement, absolutely stakeholder engagement. You need one of the reasons I did a project, a global. Delivery of it purchase to pay a cancel confirmation for the agile, right? The mighty, the agile. And, of course they are, they have got very mature delivery methodology, et cetera, et cetera, and still to still takes somebody dream. 

[00:32:35] To make sure that nevertheless you’re applying the methodology, right? Otherwise it becomes a little bit too theoretical. And I think my role in there was to say, right, here’s a methodology, brilliant life. So work together less the assembly business acceptance group, they would really understand and carry out the impact assessment of what the change was. 

[00:32:59] Right.  

[00:33:00] Andrew: Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, because, cause I, I have to say like, even in my own experience, trying to build a software company, people love the software, a lofty idea, but it’s the adoption piece. So.  

[00:33:11] Francesca: Yeah.  

[00:33:11] Andrew: people, people rushing, they use, oh, this is great love using it, blah, blah, blah. And then it’s like, how do we keep people continuing to use it and benefit from it? 

[00:33:18] Because the whole point is to use it. So whether it’s software or a new policy or a process, or getting ready for the integration of machine and human and the cognitive how’s cognitive,  

[00:33:31] Francesca: And now it’s a good point that you brought back because altimetry okay. It’s a new technology. It’s the robo working together with the robot, but it’s the same thing. And the reason you engage the leadership, the reason you engage the people now through. What I find ridiculous practices of saying to people all we are all, you know, 

[00:33:56] it’s our hearts and mind forget that you need robust business focused governance that climb into the delivery.  

[00:34:05] Andrew: A hundred percent.  

[00:34:05] Francesca: That’s what you need to do. That’s how you engage people and you don’t patronize people because you really get their input into them. But assessment, the business readiness criteria, you get the leadership, everyone in math thing to like a nice change management network, to which you communicate at the appropriate level. 

[00:34:25] You know, there are, there are tools. Well, there is, and certainly something I’ve developed very strongly as you can see, I talk quite passionately is the fact that is important. Change management is important because you don’t destroy the value. You get your return of investment. Right.  

[00:34:45] Andrew: Hey, that’s our job. It’s a fight,  

[00:34:47] Francesca: job.  

[00:34:48] Andrew: know, it’s yeah. It’s reduced that risk, that discount factor on and the MPV calculation don’t destroy  

[00:34:55] Francesca: don’t destroy value Absolutely. Yeah.  

[00:34:57] Andrew: So if I just get, want to be respectful of time, you know, near the end of our hour together. So I, what I would, sort of ask you is you’ve given us great advice. 

[00:35:07] What’s been the best bit of advice you’ve ever received. 

[00:35:11] Francesca: yeah. 

[00:35:11] Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s a very good, uh, a very good thing. I tell you what my mother. Nice. Now this may sound counterintuitive because of what I described, the culture I come from earlier, where a lot of things in the same career I’ve had here, wouldn’t have been open to me, my mother, and she had the wisdom of our over-age bygone age, a wisdom, and her mother. Father said the same to her. And she used to tell me, I have to say that again because I found, she said it. So in para laughing, it, make that back there, which means in life Ms. Scale, and then set it aside because I’m the beaming all day, because you never know when you need it. Right. You never know when you need it. And when you will apply, when I went into it, I learned the finance skill. I had to put them aside for the moment, but then my goal did I have to bring them back up right. Because I needed them. Right. Social anthropology. I did a degree for this side. What do I, what do I pull out now? The work of people and robo is essential, that kind of learning that kind of scale. So I would say is being brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant. This is what my mother left me in terms of wisdom. How does that sound? 

[00:37:00] Andrew: Yeah, no, that sounds, yeah. More than advice. That sounds like wisdom there. So thanks put into practice. So, so definitely, thanks. Thanks for that from Jessica. And I suppose, you know, you mentioned a book earlier, is there any sort of other books you’d recommend our audience?  

[00:37:13] Francesca: I am a very avid reader. I read widely, I read the law and I love reading. Let me simply, I have leave right from, from all sorts, right? From Dickens, Shakespeare, Jane Austen, et cetera. In terms of the business books, if you like books that we can read to kind of augment our professional understanding, I recently rearranged Dale Carnegie’s how to win friends and influence people. 

[00:37:50] I dried it too many years ago. I don’t think I had understood it. Actually. Now I look at it and I think, oh my God, I. I just make friends. That’s the way you influence people is so important.  

[00:38:07] Andrew: yeah. I actually adept that book when it was recommended to me, I think it was like 24, 25 completely changed the course of my career. And actually they actually there’s actually versions now for kids as  

[00:38:18] Francesca: Okay.  

[00:38:19] Andrew: I, as a teenage boys, teenage girls, I got them for my kids, but. But, yeah, I don’t, I, I just great advice in there. 

[00:38:26] And even if someone just took one chapter and worked on it,  

[00:38:29] Francesca: Is just the set Tivoli Simple. advice. And if you read books like more recent, uh, the one about the very popular one on negotiation skills. Yes. Well, you can read these Carnegie behind that. Right. And in fact is the Socratic wisdom of  

[00:38:49] Andrew: It’s yes.  

[00:38:51] Francesca: or that. And so on. Very, very democratically. 

[00:38:56] If you like not, you know, don’t go around telling people what they need to do an Outback, just show appreciation, show the working together. Respecter.  

[00:39:08] Andrew: Yeah. Even thought the random Mexico and there’s the guy had it sorted, you know, ages ago it was over a hundred years ago. I think he wrote that one. Somebody would, I would say great, great suggestion. Completely supported everyone. If you’ve not read that yet, it’ll be, look, you know, we always get news listeners on the show. 

[00:39:23] Definitely checked that one out. But Jessica for audience wish to continue the conversation with you. Where’s the best place to connect. 

[00:39:30] Francesca: Possibly easiest that you find me on LinkedIn. I have a website as well. If people wanted to take a look at it, it’s www crease.online and crease is spelled C H R Y a social media. How does that sound?  

[00:39:53] Andrew: awesome. We’ll put that link into the show notes as well. If.  

[00:39:57] Francesca: Yeah.  

[00:39:57] Andrew: How do I say I’ve been able to write that one down and look, I suppose, in terms of wrapping up, maybe any, you know, look, you’ve been such a great guest for us Francesca, and we had a great conversation before and we’ll have many more after I know. 

[00:40:10] Right. But, do you have any parting thoughts for our audience for now? 

[00:40:13] Francesca: Just don’t be scared. Right? Don’t be scared. The world is out there. It’s fantastic we sending the challenges. Just go, go learn, keep yourself relevant. I think that’s a big thing for me, you know, so, but it’s been my complete pleasure and you and I can probably talk for the next five hours.  

[00:40:36] Andrew: Easily, easily, easily. So yeah. Yeah, no. So I’m looking forward to our next conversation already, but, Francesca looked just likes to be in such an awesome guest sharing such great knowledge and also wisdom and thoughts as well. And, yeah. Thanks. Thanks again for coming on the show. 

[00:40:50] Francesca: it is I that, that, thank you.  


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