The upcoming celebration of St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th conjures up many images and traditions. Attending parades, wearing green clothing, eating corned beef and cabbage, and drinking green beer are all parts of the modern celebration of this feast. But what’s the real meaning of St. Patrick’s Day and what can it teach us about corporate performance management (CPM)? Read on to find out.
So why exactly do we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day on March 17th? If you research this topic, you’ll be reminded that St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland. Born in Roman Britain in the late 4th century, he was kidnapped at the age of 16 and taken to Ireland as a slave. He escaped but returned about 432 CE to convert the Irish to Christianity. By the time of his death on March 17, 461, he had established monasteries, churches, and schools. Many legends grew up around him—for example, that he drove the snakes out of Ireland and used the shamrock to explain the Holy Trinity. Ireland came to celebrate his day with religious services and feasts.
Roll forward a few hundred years and it was emigrants, particularly to the United States, who transformed St. Patrick’s Day into a largely secular holiday of revelry and celebration of all things Irish. This took hold mostly in cities with large numbers of Irish immigrants, such as Boston, New York City, and later Chicago who staged the most extensive celebrations, including elaborate parades. In Chicago, they even dye the river green on St. Patrick’s Day!
Nowadays, Irish and non-Irish alike commonly participate in the “wearing of the green”—sporting an item of green clothing or a shamrock, the Irish national plant, on Saint Patrick’s Day. Restaurants serve corned beef and cabbage specials and even beer is often dyed green to celebrate the holiday.
Over time St. Patrick’s Day symbols such as leprechauns and pots of gold at the end of the rainbow began to make their way into the imagery associated with the holiday. The folklore around leprechauns is that if you catch one, he will tell you where his pot of gold is hidden. Beware, however, as the leprechaun is smarter than the average wood nymph, and you may be tricked into looking for gold at the ever-elusive end of the rainbow.
This cautionary tale reminds us that relying on luck, magic, and greed can be a recipe for disaster. Instead of working hard and making strategic moves to build financial stability, people can be tricked into wasting their precious time and resources searching—metaphorically—for a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow.
The same goes for corporations and other enterprises. Relying on the luck of the Irish to achieve your goals and objectives is unlikely to yield positive results. There’s no substitute for having a repeatable, closed-loop CPM process that links your strategies to plans and execution. Organizations need to set goals, develop plans, monitor and analyze results and adjust plans and resources as needed to have a good chance of achieving financial objectives.
And if your organization is relying on spreadsheets and email, or multiple legacy CPM applications to manage your mission-critical financial planning and reporting processes – don’t count on St. Patrick to chase them away like he did the snakes in Ireland. Once your organization outgrows these approaches, your team will need to identify and evaluate alternative solutions, then do the work to implement the software, train your users and begin reaping the benefits.
That’s where modern, unified, and cloud-based CPM software solutions such as OneStream really demonstrate their value. OneStream’s unified Intelligent Finance Platform was designed to replace multiple legacy CPM applications, spreadsheets, and cloud point solutions with a single application that supports financial close and consolidation, planning, reporting, and analysis. And the OneStream platform can be extended via a MarketPlace of value-added solutions that can be downloaded, configured, and deployed to quickly address additional requirements without adding technical complexity. These include processes such as account reconciliations, tax provisioning, people and capital planning, lease accounting, and more.
The rewards are proven. Organizations that have adopted OneStream’s unified platform have realized significant value, in four main areas:
St. Patrick’s Day is a fun holiday to celebrate whether you are Irish or not. But while you are celebrating, don’t get fooled by visions of leprechauns and pots of gold. If your organization is ready to make the leap from legacy CPM applications, spreadsheets, or point solutions to a modern, unified CPM software platform, contact OneStream and we’ll be happy to demonstrate the value our solution can deliver. To learn more, download our white paper titled “Exploring Value Realization with OneStream.”