Beyond budgeting

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Great presentation on Beyond Budgeting at the Perf Mgmt Assn in Cambridge by head of reporting at Statoil. A small group of top corporations [see Linked-In] including names like Google, Telenor, Toyota are junking the whole idea of annual budgets and devolving continuous target-setting to teams. If I understood correctly, in principle any team can change any target, and any performance indicator, at any time, for any reason – the control being credibility with their peers, since every team’s plans and targets are visible to everyone. Statoil’s performance against its peers sure suggests that something special is happening there!

This, surely, is what a modern-day strategy process should support – new opportunities, threats, initiatives and challenges emerge constantly, and those adaptive targets should be emerging from evaluation of those changes. If not, then any changes to targets risk being made purely by what teams happen to notice and respond to … and what a perfect fit with Strategy Dynamics, whose working business models continually update history with anticipated futures, and can test any and all impacts and responses, in as much detail as management wants.

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  1. Paul Holmstrom  July 17, 2012

    You are quite right in this Kim. Handelsbanken in Sweden abandoned traditional budgeting in the seventies (http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=921474). They are still the only major company to have taken that step. At the same time they got rid of local P&Ls.
    According to Requisite Organization theory the majority of employees work in time spans considerably shorter than one year. One of my favorite theorists, Stafford Beer, envisaged real time systems, impossible then.

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