Hunting For 'Orange People': The Relatable Rebels Of Finance

Are you the Orange, Red or Yellow in your team?

In the ever-evolving landscape of finance and business transformation, 'Orange People' play a crucial role in bridging the gap between technology and business objectives. Their unique skills and perspectives are more valuable than ever. 

If you find yourself resonating with this narrative, join the GENCFO community to connect with like-minded individuals who understand and embrace your values. 

Want to know more about the term ‘Orange People’ first? Then read on…

Where it started

I was a reluctant accountant during my years in industry. While I served as a financial controller and a divisional CFO, I couldn't shake the feeling that there was more to my role. Despite my enjoyment in leading finance teams and engaging in business partnering, especially during the commercial team events, I always felt there was more to being a business accountant.

I held the belief that I could contribute greater value to the business by working closely alongside the various lines of business, rather than just dictating performance action plans and budgets.

Over time, I grew restless and gradually gravitated towards a particular group of individuals whose rebellious nature and purpose I now fully comprehend, though back then, I struggled to define. 

I wonder whether you might be in a similar situation, perhaps even one of these 'rebels' yourself?

Upon transitioning from core finance into finance transformation, I encountered a unique group of professionals who didn't fit the mould of accounting specialists or technical IT experts. They straddled both areas, eager to add value using technology - not for tech's sake, but to fully support their businesses. They served as the vital bridge between all domains, and I aspired to that role. So, I continued on this path for the remainder of my finance career before founding GENCFO.

Through the creation of GENCFO and the formation of a community of like-minded rebels, I've come to recognize these specific professionals from a mile away. They may refer to themselves as advisers, intrapreneurs, translators, or simply tech-savvy business partners. Most would recognize being the 'knot in the middle of the bow tie' due to the immense stress these transformer roles entailed.

I call them ‘Orange People', distinguishing them from the strictly business-oriented 'Reds' and the technically proficient 'Yellows.' 

Where do Orange People fit in?

These Oranges are a rare breed today, even though their demand has never been greater.

In the context of finance and business transformation, as well as business partnering, where technology plays a pivotal role in how CFOs add value to their organisations, the need for Orange People has become paramount.

However, a significant challenge lies ahead. By definition, these individuals do not neatly fit into any particular team. They are not content focusing solely on numbers or technology. 

They represent a unique group seeking to occupy the middle ground, bridging business objectives and outcomes with the strategic use of technology to create value within their respective roles.

Organisational constraints pose difficulties for Oranges because most traditional structures lack positions tailored to their capabilities. While more progressive finance teams may include finance business partners, and business-facing IT departments may have IT business partners, these roles often align more with demand management rather than enabling value creation.

These individuals require the flexibility to influence both sides of the organisation, with the budget and support necessary to drive change. Consequently, this presents a challenge for future-focused 'reluctant' accountants, change makers and transformers.

A home for the future-minded

This is precisely why I founded GENCFO and why I hope they have found a home within our community - a community that recognizes and embraces Orange People as a valuable yet underrepresented group of individuals indispensable in today's ever-evolving world of finance and business transformation.

Together, we can create meaningful change, share insights, and navigate the challenges of the modern finance world. It's a community that recognizes your value and is ready to empower you. 

Become a part of GENCFO today and be at the forefront of finance and business transformation. Join us and be part of the change you've always believed in.

If you’d like to meet Orange People, head over to our community platform and join in!

Author

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Christopher Argent, Founder, GENCFO
GENCFO Team

Chris is the founder and MD of GenerationCFO.com and creator of the Digital Finance Function Model and a contributor to many articles on our platform. Chris focuses on the shift toward digital transformation in accounting and finance, shows you what good looks like, then helps to get you there!

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