HiveRank (1646)

Christian Jönsson

Principal HiveMind Expert

Mantra

Create Value and Enable Growth - and Stop Doing Stupid Things!

In a nutshell

I drive and enable transformation, change and improvement so that businesses will increase profitability, create value and grow

Availability

Partly Available Immediately

Location

Zurich, Switzerland

Languages

English

French

Skills

Business Strategy

CIO

digital transformation

shared services

Growth Strategy

IT Strategic Planning

outsourcing

Finance Transformation

HM Expert since

Thursday July 30, 2020

About

I have a deep and wide experience of leading, building and transforming business functions on a global basis. As an independent management consultant I make sure to deliver the changes that are required to achieve the intended result.
With my eclectic and versatile approach, I enable businesses to transform, to create value, to grow and to implement lasting improvement.

I am especially strong in Strategy and Business Development/Transformation, as well as leading large, complex and global projects.

I am a global citizen, Swedish by birth and currently living in Switzerland. I have lived in five countries and worked substantially in many more. I have a broad and deep experience from several business leadership positions in IT, Shared Business Services, Strategy, General Business Management and Projects & Processes. I also did a stint as interrim CFO.

Current role details

I am running my own business consultancy since April 2020, focusing on Digital Business Transformation, Growth Management and generally to help businesses to flourish.

Christian's STAR Stories

Planning for Success: Synchronize Business Strategy with Management Mindset (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Situation

The client, an independent manufacturing division of a larger consumer goods company was struggling with decreasing volumes from their main client. Because of this, the owner was given more freedom to look for alternative ways to generate more revenue. There was a prevailing mindset that the main client and owner called the shots and there was not much to do to change the situation, and this resulted in a culture of helplessness when facing challenges.

Task

The main task was to develop a new business strategy with clear mid-term goals on sales and volumes. We also looked beyond the 2-3 year time frame to show the owners the real potential of the manufacturing group. A key point was to move away from the current constrained mindset and install management empowerment along with a belief in that substantial growth was possible with new customers.

Action

At the beginning, the project leveraged a pre-determined set of goals for the mid-term, and used few ideas already on the table. To make the new strategy credible and acceptable, we worked to kept the project very simple and digestible, including clear visuals. There was initial success with external customers. It was important to highlight early wins to ensure the audience that the journey already started and the new strategy will accelerate and capitalise on existing achievements.

  • Visualized the results to date and started with the end game in mind, to install a mindset and a belief that it was indeed possible to double the sales.
  • Identified and prioritised new ideas and opportunities that eventually became the strategic initiatives.
  • Defined and implemented a governance model to support and enforce the new strategy.
  • Obtained buy-in from the executive team and the owners
  • Incorporated the new strategy into the internal training program to make sure it got as widespread as possible.
  • Made an action plan and road map based on the strategic initiatives.

For an organisation with a inflexible mindset to adopt a new strategy it was essential to show that alternatives could work. One example was setting up a partnership with clear growth potential and start investigations into new sales channels. Both became a part of the strategy which was accepted and now in action. The strategy also included a number of operational initiatives to reduce cost and improve cash flow.

Results

The outcome was not just a new strategy and plan, but also a new mindset for the organisation. We were able to instill a belief that there was a way to grow in new areas and ways. There was also a new clear vision that the internal training channel remained a valid way to communicate across the organization.

Value was delivered by;

  • Positive mindset change
  • Improved business agility and ability to rapidly respond to change and opportunity
  • Actionable roadmap to deliver growth and innovation
  • Clear growth goals for the group; with a long-term vision to double the volumes, and the way to get there.
  • A partnership with another group with clear sales objectives (+ 5% sales growth projected)
  • An Industry 4.0 project for the factories leading to substantial cost reductions

Pains relieved included;

  • Unclear business strategy and expectations
  • The disconnect between culture, mindset, and future vision
  • Misaligned goals between areas and between group and owners
  • Non-harmonised priorities
Focus on core business - the case for Shared Services (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Situation

The company was in the consumer goods business – development, manufacturing and sales – and had legal entities in 60+ countries around the globe.

The financial reporting and consolidation were standardised and centralised to some extent, but the underlying accounting was completely decentralised and in the hands of local finance directors and chief accountants.

This resulted in a heavy and resource demanding set up, timely closing procedures and issues with non-aligned data and processes.

It was concluded in an early stage that operational finance (accounts payable, accounts receivable and general ledger) was not a core function in the company and that it would make sense to provide these functions as a shared service.

Task

The main task was to define the scope, plan and approach for Shared Services Finance covering the non-core finance functions in the group and then to lead the implementation.

Action

The first step was to align the vision and purpose of the endeavour in order to get full stakeholder buy-in. The project was controversial as it would lead to substantial changes in the organisation and existing power structures.  The purpose and key message was finally agreed and it  was ”Focus on core business”, i.e enabling the local business to focus on selling and developing new business rather than being stuck in non-value adding accounting work. The intention was to deliver value by:

  • Quality, speed and savings from optimisation and automation of finance processes
  • Best in class cost and service efficiency
  • Fast access to reliable data to enable front-line decision making
  • Meaningful and actionable KPIs and metrics

A number of pains were also going to be removed:

  • Finance function under a lot of pressure from operational tasks
  • Inefficient or non-standard processes
  • Arguing over data quality instead of supporting data driven decisions
  • Complex and changing government regulations across multiple jurisdictions

The second step was to define an approach and project charter in order to get going. An easy-to-understand message that became a mantra for the project was established,  and it described well what we were doing:

  • Standardisation – to enable shared services we have to start with the absolute basics. If the service and function is not standardised it cannot be shared and there is no point in moving to the next point;
  • Concentration – moving the delivery of the standardised funtions to centers where it will be performed and delivered instead of locally;
  • Automation – once standardised and concentrated, we would be able to automate some services for additional benefits (cost and quality)

The third step was to act upon the message; the processes were standardised, every entity moved to using the same software (same database and instance) and centers were set up on a regional level to provide accounting services to the local entities and provide corporate with the necessary data for reporting purposes

The fourth step was the implementation – moving the execution of the accounting from local entities to the service centers, and to complete the transformation by reforming the local finance organisation to be focusing on the core business.

Results

All entities in the company moved into a standard set up for accounting, using the same software, database and instance. What was seen as ”impossible” by several local colleagues proved to work out fine.

A massive implementation plan resulted in four regional shared service centers spread around the globe, each providing professional services to the entitities that previously all had their own local structures.

The project broke even ahead of plan. It resulted in in overall reduction of finance cost in the company by more than 10%. It also substantially improved the data quality and reduced errors.  It improved intercompany understanding due to a new common finance laguage.

The most significant value was that the project vision and mantra to ”Focus on Core Business” was fulfilled. The local finance management, previously preoccupied with firefighting and operational tasks, now had time and opportunity to become the true business partners to the local management with the emphasis on driving business growth and improvement.

Value was delivered by;

  • Higher delivery efficiency and effectiveness from clarity around process performance
  • Greater financial control and predictability in delivery
  • Ability to clearly demonstrate value to the business
  • Reduced staffing and systems costs from automation, shared services or movement offshore
  • Reduced local versions of processes and report – standardisation
  • Reduced number of errors due to misaligned systems / processes
  • Streamlined, effective and mapped processes with improvement plans
  • Improved finance organisation and operating model; finance function is more effective and costs less
  • Usable and actionable KPIs and metrics

Pains relieved included;

  • Lack of subject matter expertise and experience
  • Lack of clarity or understanding on operational readiness requirements
  • Disruption from business restructure or reprioritisations
  • Reduced audit control points and rework

The set up of shared services paved way for the next significant step, which was to further concentrate and automate – this time that would mean outsourcing the services. This is a subject for another Star Story.

Services Christian Manages

Optimising Existing Investments (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Summary

Helping the Finance function to create value by leveraging and optimising existing assets and investment and thereby bringing tangible results with speed.

Functionality, Workflow and Applications for Improvements in Finance (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Summary

Recommending software solutions to improve Finance processes.

Services Christian Delivers

Service Icon Finance Transformation (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Summary

Finance Transformation services addressing critical issues facing finance across major industry sectors, including vision, strategy and impact, organisation and talent, business processes and controls, and technology

Service Icon HiveExec for Finance Leaders (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Summary

This service focuses on accelerating success for finance leaders

Service Icon Finance: Vision, Strategy and Impact Advisory (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Summary

The Vision, Strategy and Impact Service is a strategic CFO advisory where we together set the scene, envision the future and plan to make it happen.

Service Icon Finance: Organisation and Talent (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Summary

The Organisation and Talent Service is focused on optimising the organisation model and skillset required to achieve successful finance transformation.

Service Icon Finance: Business Processes and Controls (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Summary

The Business Processes and Controls service will help you with best practice process design for optimal performance, automation and quality output.

Service Icon Finance: Systems and Technology (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Summary

The Systems and Technology Service will guide and advise on how to apply technology and utilise systems to enable finance transformation and deliver an effective output from the finance function.

Optimising Existing Investments (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Summary

Helping the Finance function to create value by leveraging and optimising existing assets and investment and thereby bringing tangible results with speed.

Functionality, Workflow and Applications for Improvements in Finance (Reveal More OR View Full Page)
Summary

Recommending software solutions to improve Finance processes.

Industry Experience

Retail and Consumer

Manufacturing

Business Services

Forest, Paper and Packaging

regional Experience

North America

Europe

Asia