“We would like to do this activity and charge it to this budget line item. It wasn’t in the original design, but as we’ve engaged with the communities, it’s become a critical need that could never have been foreseen, so we want to address it.”
“You can’t do that as it violates a couple accounting principles and audit would get us in trouble. However, we can charge it to these other lines no problem, are you ok with that instead?”
I love working with our finance director as he regularly finds a solution for what we need to do. He doesn’t hide behind accounting principles and laws, but seeks to make them work for us. He’s like a great jazz player who knows the scales so well, he knows when it is ok to break them and make stunning music.
Too many of us hide behind No. Too often we use No to control, to hold power. We say no and do not offer solutions about how it could work. We are keen to show our expertise in knowledge of a subject, but have forgotten expertise is actually about using our knowledge to enable ourselves to others to achieve their dreams. We have come to think “no’ protects the organisation, but often it creates a culture of compliance and frustration – is that what we are seeking?