Saturday, July 17, 2004

Get rid of budgeting!

In an article in last month's Harvard Business Review, Robert Howell says we have to change our report formats and even our vocabulary, since focusing on growth requires an attitude adjustment. Indeed when you think of forces that contribute to the long term growth and prosperity of your company, your budgeting process is probably not amongst the first things that came up :). On the contrary, bottom-up budgeting, with its focus on short-term earnings and making short-term numbers and its death grip on performance measurement, control and rewards, is one of the forces arrayed against you! That's why Howell presents a cool idea: get rid of the word 'budget'!
From now on we will use 'profit plan' or 'value-creating plan'. Or who has an even better idea to replace the word 'budget'?