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To Change the Finance Profession, We Need to Embrace Innovation

Mar 31, 2022

“We're not going to change this profession by just having the leaders embrace innovation. We need everyone to do that,” said Shawn Kanungo, innovation strategist and AFP 2021 MindShift Keynote, in a recent podcast with AFP President and CEO Jim Kaitz.

How can financial professionals be disruptors? According to Kanungo, they’re perfectly poised for it: “The finance and treasury professional should be the ones leading the digital transformation within their organization because they see all parts of the business.”

Kaitz agreed. This is a point the leader of AFP has been driving home for years, and something the association has spent a great deal of time educating and supporting its membership through — and pushing it toward. The disruption is inevitable. Now is the time to get the right people and technology in place, which is what Kaitz and Kanungo talked about in the latest episode of the AFP Conversations podcast.

Kanungo went into how individuals can become disruptors, and the role of leaders in supporting their teams through the digital transformation. “I would look at them as the Avengers; somebody within the Avengers has a superhero talent. Your job as a leader is to exploit that talent, to find that particular superhero talent and showcase it,” said Kanungo.

The two talked about reasons why some financial professionals were dragging their feet on making the transition, with time and resources topping the list. Kanungo called these out as “just excuses,” and said if you want to change the profession, you have to make it a priority.

The discussion veered off for a moment into the debate over remote work, and whether or not this is something organizations would continue with in the future. Kaitz remarked on what a positive change it has been for his team at AFP, and that they had no plans at this time to return to the office or institute a hybrid schedule. But, he added, all organizations have to make that decision for themselves and do what works best for them.

Listen to the full podcast to discover how you too can be a disruptor, bringing digital transformation to your organization.

Check out this year's MindShift Keynote and don't forget to register for AFP 2022 by June 3 to save $725.