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Why you should foster creativity even in finance & accounting

My six year old is obsessed with Rapunzel. I get it. I mean have you seen how long and magical her hair is?

My daughter’s obsession always shows up in the form of wishing her hair was longer. And as much as I would love to tap into my fairy godmother abilities to make her dreams come true, we all know hair grows as long and fast as hair wants to grow…..especially on a 3 year old.

Which is why I was so proud when she granted herself her own wish and made her own Rapunzel hair, using popped air pockets tied together from our last Amazon shipment. Without any  prompting from the grown ups in her life, she got creative. And she used her creativity to problem solve. After about 8 or so air pockets tied together, her “hair” travelled the length of her little body and across the basement floor… just as long as Rapunzels. And she loved every inch of it.

As kids we were all creative. I remember how much I loved building forts out of sticks, leaves and mud in our backyard. 

Every single one of us was born creative. And somehow as we get older we tend to lose some of our creativity, especially if we chose a career path in finance & accounting. An industry where creativity is not only not something anyone looks for on a resume application but often stifled for being too outside the box. But stifling your finance and accounting team’s sense of creativity or not allowing it to be a part of your work can actually hurt your organization’s success and the success of your teams.

Here are 3 reasons why you should foster a creativity in your finance & accounting (FA) teams

  1. The first reason is connection. If any team cannot connect to others within the organization their ability to influence and impact is severely diminished. If a finance & accounting team can’t connect to others in the organization their ability to help your organization make sound financial decisions is severely diminished and that can have huge negative implications. 

Brene Brown said connection is the energy between two people when they feel seen, heard and valued. And I believe it takes creativity to connect with others well. You must think outside the box of how others receive & process information so you can communicate in a way that resonates. 

I rely heavily on storytelling when connecting with others within my organization. Stories connect and people remember them 20 times better than numbers and facts, however, it’s hard to share stories when you aren’t allowed to be creative.

2. Adaptability & flexibility. If there’s anything I think we all learned from 2020 is that the ability to adapt and swiftly change course when needed is a critical skill no matter what role you play within an organization or what organization you’re in. Sometimes your only options are to adapt or die.

A creative FA team’s default setting is to adapt. In fact a creative FA team is constantly adapting. It’s in their DNA. 

Whether it’s developing new processes for business changes. Or bringing to the table initiatives that have huge financial impact, a FA team that embraces change and adaptability will move a business forward.

3. Up level your effectiveness. You’ve heard it. I’ve heard it. Typically, when someone thinks of an accountant, it’s not always the most flattering image that pops up in their head. Normally people imagine a very pale socially awkward person obsessed with cutting costs, hitting budgets and filing reports. Who wants to collaborate with that guy or gal? Not me!

As someone who sits in a finance and accounting seat, you have a huge advantage over anyone else in the organization. You typically have access to more information and access to it faster than most everyone else. And you should be using it to your advantage.

But if you aren’t able to work strategically with others and instill a desire to collaborate from your operational teams, your effectiveness will be significantly limited. 

A creative FA team welcomes new ideas. They welcome collaboration. And they aren’t afraid to take risks. 

August 4, 2022

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From Cookieprenuer to a C-Suite Financial Executive, Liz knows that living outside the box is possible and wants to empower others to know they can do the same.

Financial Executive. coach. Female leader + AAPI Encourager.