When a golf ball lies on the green, a ritual begins. It usually starts with a throughout cleaning of the ball after having marked its position. Then the player looks for the fall line of the green from different angles, paying attention to other factors that could determine the putt towards the hole, like the direction of the grass, its height, the humidity or the wind blowing at that moment. Some players have even developed a unique way of doing this, like Camilo Villegas, a professional player that stands out because of the way he reads the green, which reminds of Spider-Man.
All that information has to be processed quickly by the player, in order to estimate the direction and strength he should apply with the putter. It’s an estimation, so there is some room for error, and the player must pay attention to the movement of the ball along the green, in order to know how precise was his estimation, correcting his putt if the ball is not holed, and learning for future holes if it does.
Process budgets as in golf
This process is identical to the one that takes place in businesses when budgets are prepared. Information is gathered and incomes and expenses are estimated, be it a project, a department or the whole company. As in golf, it’s important to gather valuable information to make accurate budgets, but some other skills are key too:
- the ability to easily transform data into useful information
- the ability to discern what is valuable and what is not, as not all data is relevant
- the ability to notice long term risks and to foresee necessary financial solutions and their impact in cash flow
- the ability to manage different scenarios, both the most favorable and the most unfavorable, as conditions may vary in time
- a global vision of the budget, in order to be able to attend the needs of the different agents at any time
It must be taken in consideration that there is not only one correct way to putt, and that as there’re are different strategies to hole the ball on the green (hard and to the hole, using the fall, conservative…) there are also many options when creating a budget, and those options could lead to very different results at the end. A good manager must be able to choose the one that suits each case best.
In conclusion, preparing a budget is like putting on the green. It’s all about looking for a way to hole the ball, taking in consideration all the determinants and managing the risk between the estimation and reality, learning in each putt to correct the following putts if necessary.