Why is zero based budgeting creeping into innovation?

When your heads of innovation (open or otherwise) consider where to put their budget and what to fund, their people sit and wait. Will it be me? Will it be the girl from the next office? Who did the best pitch? OMG, I think I took a breath too many on line 3, slide 7. Such are the internal dialogues, especially in the competitive world of zero-based budgeting (ZBB).

Innovation implies a degree of freedom to think and play. It’s a mistake to assume that, because boot-strappers and start-ups need to find ways of making every last cent count, established businesses do too. This is the beauty and privilege of being well-funded and ought to represent a useful difference to be fully exploited.

Here’s what Wikipedia says about Zero-Based Budgeting:

“Zero-based budgeting is not a very complex process. Many businesses will budget and plan out things to maintain financials. In the past, businesses would only look at specific things and would assume that everything is already in place and does not need to be double-checked. However, in zero-based budgeting, everything that is to be budgeted needs to be approved.”

It looks like it was written by a frustrated open innovator (OI).

Even in a corporate structure that talks entrepreneurial spirit, progressive attitude and freedom to fail, ZBB can be brought in to check and balance innovation.

Heads up, it’s an emerging trend we are beginning to see more of.

Future thinking, future proofing. It’s what we do at room44