One of my past clients, a well known Wall Street bank, used to have a specific budgeting process that operated more like a VC fund and it was followed to the letter. Knowing their process made a world of difference because it allowed me to contribute in a specific way, plan ahead and set proper expectations. In the end, I found myself relieved more often than not, at how things went. That wasn’t always the case. As a partner, if you didn’t understand their process and the steps involved to get budgets approved, you were often left waiting for answers and often bewildered by the lack of decision making or at least that is how it appeared.
It taught me a valuable lesson that I found useful to apply in the organizations I was a part of – getting budgets approved is one thing, having to make the business case to get funding required a different mindset entirely. We ended up writing pitch books to get new initiatives funded vs the normal debates on why we thought it was a good idea to spend money. Through many failed programs and efforts, we ultimately learned that developing a venture mindset internally was a healthy way to look at working capital but also to plan outcomes.
“I failed my way to success” – Thomas Edison
How would your approach to getting ideas funded change if you had to go to your boss and present it as a startup idea, new venture or capital raise?