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The single most important thing to do – this coming budget season

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The single most important thing to do – this coming budget season

Hold your budget holders accountable for Accountables.
Too often budget setting focuses on costs, saving money and protecting what you already have, especially during tough economic times. The biggest problem with that approach is simple – as Tom Peters said ‘no organisation can ever shrink to greatness’.

Also, the leader – the budget holder – will always want more, so this year, do this:

  1. Ask how much money he/she would like, in an ideal world for the following year.
  2. Listen
  3. Whatever they say, agree and say ‘yes’
  4. Watch and enjoy their reaction
  5. Then add: ‘Of course, as a leader, being accountable for money – Accountables (finance) – is one of your most important jobs, would you agree?’

(They will nod in agreement) ‘So, I am prepared to budget for what you request, as long as you give me your word and prove in advance that you will deliver three times that value in real financial terms.’

(Three times – to cover the salaries and additional costs of employees and add profit, important so that your organisation continues to exist.) Then schedule a next meeting for two weeks’ time at which they must do both what you ask – give their personal promise and be accountable for delivering #3timesmore AND show you how they will do this.

Of course it is important to talk about everything being tangible at all times – after a project has been completed, or abandoned, or half way through the financial year, or every single moment of every single day. However if you want to get a real response, ownership and action – do it at budget time.

Just so you’re clear, the above has been done in real organisations by top leaders, so it’s not theory or just an idea, it is very real. Recent examples are: proving how an HR team can add 1% of profit margin to the bottom line; An investment company deciding to achieve the same target without recruiting any additional people, and a large construction company holding a consultancy responsible for proving they (the consultancy) deliver #3timesmore financial return.

And if they can do it, so can you, anytime that you choose.

With my love and best wishes


Great plan or worst idea? Views here please.
If you would like to know how to do this, and how other leaders have done this – ”How to get #3timesmore from your people’ email me –

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