Thinking Vs. Doing in Finance: Changing Narratives in the Digital Era

Thinking Vs. Doing in Finance: Changing Narratives in the Digital Era

There is an old saying in the world: Think before you speak which I have always found true.

The same is true in Finance, especially when it comes to making decisions with our money. We must always think before we act and take into account the possible consequences of our decisions. In the digital era, however, this narrative has been slowly shifting from one that emphasises thinking over doing but is this really what matters now?

With the rise of automated investing and other algorithmic decision-making tools, the role of thinking has been supplanted by the need for speed. This is because these tools can rapidly process large amounts of data and quickly identify investment opportunities, often before human investors can properly analyse and evaluate them.

But here is an interesting case that I experienced.

I was sitting with a newly appointed CFO of an established firm, and I noticed a strange thing. A task was supposed to be done in just 20 minutes, but due to the same old company tradition, the CFO invested three hot hours in it.

Because I was sitting next to him, I asked, “Is this work supposed to be done in the same way, don’t we have some other option?”

To which the CFO replied, “I know a way that is easier than this and takes less than 30 minutes but I ain’t doing this because the company follows this traditional method and they aren’t comfortable in my way.”

In another case, I was working with the founder of a Finance company who was looking to hire a new finance analyst for his firm because the previous one was extremely traditional with his practices and was adding no new strategies to maximise productivity and save time.

These two different cases helped me analyse that in the first case, the company was reluctant to adopt a new strategy, so it was all about the act, and in the second case, the analyst didn’t make appropriate decisions to enhance work, that means no thinking before taking actions.

Lack of creative thinking in Finance organisations hinders growth in this fast-paced era. With the advancement of technology and data, we are constantly surrounded by new opportunities to improve our financial strategies. But these opportunities are only taken full advantage of once we think about them before jumping into them. The freedom to think is Finance is the ultimate key to open successful pathways for the organisations that is why freedom to explore or think should never be restricted.

Both the CFO/Analyst and the company must understand that success comes when we think, trust and support each other to achieve success.

The truth is that both thinking and doing are necessary skills in Finance. However, they must be balanced to ensure that informed decisions are made, and our financial goals are achieved.

We must continue to think before we act while also taking advantage of the technology available to us in order to make the most of our investments. In this way, we can ensure that we keep up with the changes in the digital era while also managing our finances wisely.

We should remember that the financial decisions we make today will have a lasting impact on our future, so taking the time to think before acting is key.

My advice as a finance consultant is as follows:

  • Invest in both thinking and doing, use technology to make decisions quickly, and take the time to properly analyse those decisions.
  • Taking the time to think will pay dividends in the long run.
  • Additionally, be open to new ideas and strategies that may come from outside sources as well as within your organisation.
  • Fostering an environment of collaboration and creativity is essential for success in the ever-changing world of Finance.

Finance is more than just boring ideas and spreadsheets, it is about an exciting journey that demands creative analysis.

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