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1. If you have any managers bring all of them together to a meating to discuss youre business. Discuss strategy and priorities, realistic amounts, and the planning process. Ask youre managers to create a sheet about the monthly numbers of youre budget.


2. Allow a period for managers to develop their budgets, working with the standard template. Talk about deadlines for revisions. Turn the budgets into a single budget table that lists all of the including programs and activities. In most cases the total of all proposals will be 2-3 times the real amount your company can spend. Share that revised table with all managers. Share with them the difference between budgets and actual spending limits, and ask them to think about it.

3. Bring your managers back together with the budget table. First you set up a conference room with a projector and the consolidated proposed budget table. Then you go through the budget, item by item, and pare it down to a realistic amount. Your managers will be together in a group, so they will have to defend different proposals, and as they do they will build up their personal commitments and their ownership of budget items and programs. They will explain why one program is more valuable than another, they will argue about relative value, and they will increase the level of peer-group commitment.

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