Many people are frustrated with the constraints of existing systems - budgeting, planning, performance management etc. In todays dynamic and unpredictable environment, systems that are inflexible and need high preparation costs in terms of time and money, are causing managers to seek alternatives.
This resulted in the formation of the beyond budgeting round table in 1997. It now has 100+ members. They have one thing in common:
'They realize that something is wrong with traditional management, and want to do something about it.' (Quote from page 54 of the book.)
A website can be found at [...]
The author stresses that beyond budgeting is less of a recipe and more of a set of guiding principles these are to be found on page 55. These consist of both Leadership and Process principles. The important point is that the two set of principles support each other in a holistic way. Process drives behaviour and vice versa. the use of the principles and solutions may vary from company to company.
This book ia written by an experienced manager with a background in both Finanace and HR. The company that he works for is Statoil, a major European oil and gas company. This company experience forms the major part of the book. Providing through the case study many useful tips and insights.
The authors honesty about what has been achieved and commitment shows through and is one of the strengths of the book. In places the presentation/desciptions could be better, but this is a minor irritation.
One of the areas that is worth mentioning is in the statoil case, this deals with the need to find the right balance between:
* Alignment - from strategy to people, from center to the front line.
* Freedom and flexibility for local teams, to sense and respond in their own dynamic environment.
The book makes some good points about effective implementation. One issue that he picks up on is the need for integrated performance management:
'Ask a finance person for a definition of performance management. I will guarantee the answer will include words like 'strategies' 'business plans' 'reporting' and the like. An HR person will repond very differently, discussing individual goals, development plans, coaching and feedback, motivation and rewards. They are both right, but they only see their own part of the process. All they list is about performance management, and has to connect, from strategy to people. If you are based outside Finance and HR, as most people are, you do not care who is responsible for what. You simply want things to hang together, to be consistant and reflect the same mananagement and leadership principles.'
The author makes numerous comments, about the need for HR and Finance to work together, both have a lot to gain cooperating to be effective Business Partners to the organization.