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  • T had asked to talk with me yesterday afternoon. I poked my head into her office after I was done with my afternoon meetings. "What's up?" I knew she was a little irked about some thing or other regarding the process we're going through to identify FY 2016 budget priorities. I know, we're only in the middle of 2014, but in the government budget world, we're already planning two years, and further, out. One package is due tomorrow, and another, more extensive budget package, is due by the end of the month. We've been working the packages since early April, taking things through a governance process.

    Prior to five years ago, it's a wonder we got anything accomplished or managed properly in this place, as we just didn't have the werewithal to plan so far in advance, and barely were able to manage the year that we were in. There was always lots of organizational drama surrounding the agency's budget. That was when I was in my first detail as the Deputy CFO, and then as the CFO for half a year. We implemented a governance structure and process during that year, and the resistance from the senior executives was tremendous, at the time. They seemed to prefer the "wild west" shows that went on in the management council meetings, frought with drama and anybody's guess about what decisions were actually made, when all the dust had settled.
  • Now, five years later, we have a maturing process, where all decisions are thoroughly vetted, analyzed, documented and scrutinized. When decisions get made, there is a calm confidence that they are good, sound decisions, well thought out and planned for. It's a much better way to run a railroad - or a government agency.

    All I did was to remind T. how things were five years ago, and that we've come a long way. I couldn't think of anything else to tell her. She always seems to be irked about something in the process - she's a bit of a persnickety perfectionist. Apparently, it worked. "Wow, you're right, we have come a long way. Thanks for that perpective!"

    No sweat - that's what they pay me for!

    Something about starting your day doing the backstroke, and ending it singing barbershop harmony with a chorus of amazing voices, who welcome mine back in the mix, puts the grind and the humdrum of the workday in its proper perspective.
  • Approaching the halfway mark of this, the Year of the Horse, finds me swimming and singing and life falling into a perspective that makes me smile. Last year might have been one of those years from hell, but this year, so far, is going swimmingly. Makes me want to sing!
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