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Don’t Let Your Budget Process Derail Innovative Thinking

Don’t Let Your Budget Process Derail Innovative Thinking

shutterstock_326621306Disrupted organizations relying on scale for growth reach a tipping point when efficiency without innovation sets them up for collapse instead of authentic growth.

If you’re looking for innovative thinking, it’s probably time to disrupt your budget process. Don’t let the way you budget blind you to new opportunity. The best time to prepare for new thinking is before you begin “your process”.

Unfortunately tight controls stifle everything untested.

Financial pressures since 2008 put cost savings front and center. When your budget process is driven by year to year comparisons on every line item as well as pre-approvals of all budget deviations there is little flexibility for innovative solutions or small scale experiments. When your budget process is traditional you maintain what’s familiar and safe…arch enemies of adaptation and innovation.

“Organic methods of growth are abandoned with scale revenue streams that will noticeably impact the revenue growth.” The Elastic Enterprise, Vitalari& Shaughnessy

How many times does history have to repeat itself before we see the folly of big is always better?

If you’re not innovating and adapting to meet your customers where they are going, your growth isn’t sustainable.

Budgeting for Innovative Thinking

New solutions and even modest innovations require resources. Without early stage prototype learning you are not aligning with a developing future. You shut down innovative thinking before you’ve started.

When is the last time you experimented with a modest idea not related to efficiency?

What small steps are you taking to meet your customers where they are going?

I wouldn’t hurt to do a bit of honest assessment about your path into the future. At a minimum invest some critical thinking on these questions:

  • Does our budget have modest wiggle room to fund promising new ideas? If not, what can you do next budget cycle to create that contingency?
  • How much budget flexibility do you have for meeting unforeseen strategic challenges? How empowered are people to make mid year changes to their budget priorities?
  • What % of your resources are you investing in development or R&D?

Traditional budgets flow from predictable outcomes not innovative thinking.

While that’s fiduciary common sense…it doesn’t help you explore what it takes to meet an emerging future.

Innovative thinkers employ flexible budgeting strategies for allocating resources that enable authentic growth potential because you’re creating a new future along with your customers.

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