Most folks dread the budget process, whether it is imposed at a company level or in personal finances. While difficult and sometimes wearying to keep up with all of the columns and rows full of small numbers, I find the associated discussions to be incredibly stimulating.
The budget process requires logic, focus and amazing attention to detail, which are abilities at which our CFO simply eclipses anyone that I have ever known. The most exciting thing about the process for me, however, is that it forces us to examine EVERYTHING we do from bottom to top. And that examination reveals some things you'd never expect to find.
As the numbers unfolded on the screen during this year's round, from branch to district to region to company level, a realization emerged that we had to find a way to dig deeper to understand and then share what those numbers were telling us. That realization led to an overnight exercise to ponder what to do with the information and to come back and share our thoughts the next morning with one another.
After individual reflection, we came back together and agreed upon an action plan that will make us more engaged with our customers through deeper understanding of their individual needs, much more aware across the organization of just how well we're doing and, as an ultimate result, more capable of exceeding their expectations and building lasting relationships.
Now that's a pretty cool revelation to come out of a budget session.....kind of like finding a Florida Gator Snowman in a most unexpected place.