Dreaming of the New Year
During the past week I have been sitting in on budget meetings. I almost hear you groan as you read this. This time of year is often not looked forward to because of this very thing.
Each business leader is tasked with preparing the plans that we will use to mark our progress throughout next year. I have been doing this, along with everyone else in the business world, for many years now. For a lot of those earlier years, it felt like a really difficult thing to do, not particularly fun and definetly a lot of hard work for sure. On the day when you got to talk your manager through the budget, it was an intense few hours. Laying out your thinking and all of the key factors that could make this budget a success or impossible to achieve. So, for me it always felt like a lot was riding on those meetings. Walking out after the event, I either felt elated or annoyed depending on how it went. Then the year would play out, and things in the outside world would happen that nobody anticipated that either worked in your favour or completely got in the way of achieving the budget. I found ways to adapt to the new conditions.
Over the years, I came to realise that budget season is actually a lot more positive an experience than I had thought previously. It is really a time to bring all of the experiences we have, the knowledge that we have built up and, along with others, we get to build a plan to guide our focus through the year. We propose investments that will help us grow, we look at emerging or well known challenges in the markets and devise ways to overcome or get around them. With a positive mindset, it is an opportunity to learn and share different perspectives and of course it is not an exact science. When we set our budgets, it is the application of our best thinking that creates the plan. Nobody is staring at a crystal ball that shows you exactly what will happen in the coming 12 months.
So, I have a very different approach to budget time than the one I did some years ago. I think it is a time to dream and imagine the growth path of our businesses, the new colleagues that will join us and the development of our fantastic colleagues. The delivery of the budget is then dependent on how intensely we focus on the speed and quality of our execution of the plan and everything it depends on. It’s also dependent on what happens in the markets and of course local Country and worldwide conditions which are largely outside of our control.
What continues to mark us out as different in all that we do is that we are a people business first and foremost. We are hyper focused on the developing needs of colleagues, clients, candidates and contractors, and we adapt and change at speed.
So, as we continue with the budget reviews, I will do so dreaming of the new year and all that we can and will accomplish together.
As another weekend comes to us do take time to rest and recuperate. Keep safe and well.