My kingdom, my budget, my P&L, my operating expenses, my pot of money. Traditional financial management is about the efficacy and effectiveness of my dealing with resources that have my name at the top of the spreadsheet. The trick today, though, is how to make yourself rich and tap into resources you don’t own: shared, secondments, virtual pots of money, free services, Peter’s budget, you name it.
Our kingdom, our commons, we are all here together, my resources are yours, yours are mine, can we talk? That is not mainstream financial business school management. It’s simple day one of being a manager in a modern company.
Independence is dead. We are all interdependent. Even a cost centre can increase its resources with secondments from other departments, summer interns, graduate students, PhD projects. Rule of thump is managers are probably richer than they think.
Not rocket science, but why not map all possible resources and sources and see how we can tap into them, regardless what the line in the budget spreadsheet says?
‘Coming on budget’ used to be the standard of good management. In my previous life in pharmaceutical R&D ‘I always was’ a cost centre. The accountants loved it when I ‘came on budget’ meaning I spent it all. They were less happy when I spent less. That was the unpredictability they did not like. That was traditional business school, linear, logical rational thinking. They proved to me that these people did not distinguish between good or bad surprises. They just did not like any. But that was my previous life.
Today: here is your budget, I expect you to find resources you can tap into that are not in the spreadsheet; I expect you to start conversations now, pronto, with your peer leaders who also have a spreadsheet with their name at the top, on how you can pull it all together; I expect you to see the sum as greater than all those individual pieces. You’ll be recognized for that, big time. Managing your budget is a given, not a big deal; managing the budget is why I see you as leader. Go on. You are rich.