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Beyond Budgeting: How Managers Can Break Free from the Annual Performance Trap by Robin Fraser, Jeremy Hope

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Chapter Two

Breaking Free

Many organizations talk about decentralization but few know how to do it right.... Decentralization is 10 percent what you say and 90 percent what you do.

—ARNE MÅRTENSSON, CHAIRMAN, SVENSKA HANDELSBANKEN

We have spent the past five years visiting many organizations that have, to some degree or other, attempted to tackle the problems of budgeting. Most have gone beyond tinkering with the existing process: They have abandoned it altogether. They have eliminated the annual cycle of preparing, submitting, negotiating, and finally agreeing upon a budget by department, function, business unit, division, and finally the whole organization. The result has been to save months of work. The budget no longer represents an annual ...

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