Did you start from zero? #tq69

Budgeting is easy.

At least the commonly used process is. The process that relies heavily on the word estimate, the one that lets you increase last year’s numbers by this year’s rate of inflation. Or maybe you use a process equally make-believe.

Perhaps you are smarter and rely more on the word assumption… to help you think in terms of possibilities and probabilities. (What if we assume that…)

But I hope you are wise and begin with zeros… to trigger “brand new” thinking. (Let’s imagine we are starting from scratch…)

And if you are really, really wise, you practice zero-based thinking in all that you do:

  • Why are we still doing this? (Let’s imagine we are starting from scratch…)
  • Why does this policy matter? (Let’s imagine we are starting from scratch…)
  • Why are we in this market? (Let’s imagine we are starting from scratch…)
  • Why are we having these weekly/monthly meetings? (Let’s imagine we are starting from scratch…)

And so on.

Think of it as zero-based daily living. Question everything you do and every tool you use. Does it still make sense? Does it still add value? Why are you doing it? Why are you doing it this way? Why are you still reading this trigger question? (No! Ignore the last one.)


(My thanks to British philosopher Bertrand Russell for triggering this trigger. He once said, or wrote, “In all affairs, it’s a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you take for granted.”)

And to Peter Pyhrr, who came up with the idea of zero-based budgeting, and then wrote a book called Zero Based Budgeting: A Practical Management Tool for Evaluating Expenses. (No, I haven’t read it.)


Your Friday Trigger Question:

Did you start from zero?

(If not, how effective do you estimate your assumptions are?)

Welcome to my side of the nonsense zero divide.