BlackLine Blog

July 20, 2021

Are You Preventing Sustained Growth & Innovation?

Digital Transformation
2 Minute Read

Sarah Vidmar


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It’s More Than Technology

Innovation. It’s a buzzword and something that many organizations strive to bake into their DNA. Accomplishing it is also easier said than done. Some think technology is the key to making it happen. It certainly helps, but it can’t be the only answer.

Lots of hurdles can—and will—get in the way. For example, priorities can end up in conflict, often because of silos that inhibit visibility into what other teams or business units are doing.

There’s also the tendency to take what you’re doing today and put it into the new technology or tool without first understanding your goals and overall strategy. This won’t fix your underlying process-related issues. As we like to say, “Moving spoiled milk from the counter to the fridge still leaves you with spoiled milk.”

Signs You Might Need to Rethink Your Approach

Not seeing the change and results you hoped would come from a new technology solution? Plenty of reasons exist for why that’s the case. It could be the competing priorities or silos mentioned above. Maybe even talent gaps, differences in mindsets, or a lack of organizational alignment.

As a starting point, consider your organization as you ask yourself the following questions. If you answer no more than yes, then it might be time to reevaluate your strategy:

  • Is leadership on board with how you’re using your technology stack and your goals for it?

  • Do you know what your goals and future vision are?

  • Are you making the most of the technology you have?

  • Do your teams point to market-leading technology as an enabler to their process?

  • Are you encouraging collaboration across teams?

  • Do you know what success looks like?

  • Are there KPIs in place to track your progress?

  • Are you more proactive than reactive?

  • Are your people engaged and empowered to share feedback and ideas?

  • Is there a vehicle in place for them to provide this kind of input?

  • Do you know where your processes sit?

  • Can you assess if things are working well or are broken?

Installation vs. Implementation

Another possibility for why you’re not achieving the results you wanted could be that your approach was to do an installation, not an implementation. The difference-maker here is the people element.

An installation focuses solely on getting the technology in place. An implementation considers the process improvements and change management associated with making sure the new technology sticks—and grows and scales with you.

A true implementation involves:

  • Understanding your why for doing this

  • Securing buy-in and alignment at all levels

  • Setting goals, success metrics, and a roadmap to guide you

  • Addressing needed process changes

  • Keeping open channels for communication and collaboration

  • Involving and empowering your people

  • Setting up a framework for feedback and accountability

This takes work and won’t happen overnight. Having a sense of your long-term plan will help keep you on track. And with that vision in place, you can map out the incremental steps to get there and pivot as things change. Securing organizational commitment to these items will also let you embed innovation in your culture and give everyone a role to play in making it a reality.

After all, technology without people to support it won’t get you where you want to be. Your people run your business—not your technology.

For more insights, tune into Clearsulting’s discussion on how combining process improvements and change management can help you get more value from your technology investments. Learn more about the speakers, Dillon Beard and Sarah Vidmar.

Clearsulting’s sweet spot is delivering transformational projects in the office of finance. Our industry-proven methodologies, speed, and innovative thinking are designed to drive results and get you working better, faster, and with more control. Using BlackLine’s platform as a catalyst, we help finance organizations make the shift to modern accounting so they can be a better partner to the business.

About the Author


Sarah Vidmar