Are you suffering budget blues, both in doing and meeting the wretched things? Jeremy Hope and Robin Fraser, authors of Beyond Budgeting, have a simple solution. Scrap them! No targets for spending and selling means no blasting for shortfalls. Yet control isn't lost: use rolling five- to eight-quarter forecasts of key variables (say, orders, sales, costs and capital spending). Motivate via key performance indicators (such as profits, cashflow, cost ratios, customer satisfaction and quality), measured against internal or external peer groups. In Harvard Business Review, the authors claim that this leads people to outdo themselves, and that beyond-budget companies create more value, while saving oceans of time and mountains of money.
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