Improving Financial Decision Making
Understanding Financial Impacts Within and Across Departments
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Year after year, leaders are being asked to take on broader financial responsibilities for their areas—larger budgets, more complex financial management challenges, and broader financial accountability systems. Yet many of these same leaders do not effectively use financial analysis as a tool for decision making, relying instead on a combination of experience and intuition. In fact, research identifies financial acumen as one of the most critical leadership competencies for organizational success in the future, as well as one of the most significant skill gaps among multiple layers of management.
This course focuses on building confidence with financial concepts and the use of financial analysis in evaluating day-to-day decisions. Leaders learn core concepts as they pertain to the financial management of their areas and take away a rigorous approach to integrate financial performance into their day-to-day financial decision making. Relevant to a broad base of leaders, this course is targeted to those who have had some experience with basic financial concepts but have not yet become experts in daily management of financial issues.
Learning objectives for participants
- Understand organizational finances as a whole and how department finances align with those of the larger institution
- Identify the financial impact of operational decisions made on various stakeholders, as well as other departments in the organization
- Calculate the financial impact of decisions and adjust decision making accordingly
Course content and teaching methodology
This course incorporates classroom presentation, case studies, and individual and group exercises. The following topics are among those included in this course:
Understanding the landscape
- Discussion of cost and revenue levers, key financial terms and concepts, and the implications of unit or department finances on organizational financial performance
- Presentation on the critical role of leadership in financial performance
Integrating financial impact analysis into decision making
- Presentation on the critical role of financial impact analysis in department management
- Interactive exercise in which participants will learn how to identify and quantify areas of impact of operational decisions
- Group exercise on defining financial metrics and drawing financial correlations to determine revenue and cost implications of decision making
Balancing finance and vision
- Discussion and presentation on the alignment of financial priorities with vision, on both the departmental and organizational level