Joining the dots is a CGMA (Chartered Global Management Accountant) meta-theme and a core focus for 2016. The programme highlights the unique skills and attributes that CGMAs bring to the business. In addition, this programme will showcase the power and importance of the Global Management Accounting Principles as the best way of responding to the challenges – through the focus on effective integrated thinking.

The programme focuses on the challenges senior executives face in decision making in a VUCA (Volatile; Uncertain; Complex; Ambiguous) world, and how businesses need to improve to succeed.

Large companies’ decision-making structures are undermining their competitiveness

  • 72% of companies have had at least one strategic initiative fail in the last three years because of delays in decision making
  • 42% say they have lost competitive advantage to more agile competitors due to slow decision making

Trust and collaboration must be improved to enable integrated thinking

  • 70% of C-suite leaders admit there is moderate or significant room for improving active collaboration between leaders and employees,
  • 65% say the same about trust.
  • 43% feel that levels of trust with other C-suite leaders could be improved.

Greater transparency is needed about how and why decisions are taken

  • Embedding transparency around the decision-making process is key to building trust and enabling collaboration. The leading group in our survey – the Integrated Thinkers – are best at this, with 58% reporting high levels of effectiveness in communicating how and why decisions have been taken to the wider organisation.

Post-financial-crisis prescriptions still haven’t been fully implemented

  • Only 39% of C-suite leaders are confident their current bonus structures help them to strike the right balance in short, medium and long-term value generation
  • Just 23% believe they are highly effective at fully assessing the needs of external stakeholders. The Integrated Thinkers are more effective in both of these areas.

Leaders aren’t learning from past outcomes

  • 52% of C-suite leaders view understanding the outcomes of past decisions as highly important, while just 28% are currently effective in this area.

Management information and the difficulty of working with big data are hindering effective decision making for many

  • A massive 80% of respondents admit they’ve discovered that a strategic decision was made based on flawed information at least once in the last three years
  • One-third (32%) of respondents say big data has made things worse not better for decision making, while 37% say it has helped.
  • 36% say their organisation is not coping with information overload.

The report shows that the best performers are practicing integrated thinking. Leaders who have progressed furthest towards more integrated thinking are reaping the rewards in the success of their decisions and wider business performance.

Integrated thinking is the route to more effective decision making in large organisations – cutting through organisational silos, facilitating good communication of critical information across operating and functional units to provide leaders with the best possible foundation upon which to base their decisions.

The best performers are practicing integrated thinking. Management accounting is integrated thinking, and integrated thinkers are those that follow the Global Management Accounting Principles. Business leaders need to recognise the growing need to support their organisations with the kind of integrated thinking championed by management accountants.

Report landing page:

Samantha Louis
Director: Africa Region, CIMA


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