To play Slush Fund when discussing the following year's budget, a manager mislabels one section, creating a secret surplus to cope with overspending. The problem with this game is that it encourages managers to play fast and loose with their budgets, draining money from he corporate offers that they might not need. It also sets a bad recedent,communicating that budgets are not to be taken at face value and that playing games with them isn't just optional but necessary. Management eventually begins to suspect that managers are playing this game, and they begin questioning every line item in the budget, wasting enormous energy debating with managers whether item x is really necessary.Sometimes the slush fund even needs to be spent unnecessarily just to avoid questioning.
Example: Marcia, a midlevel manager at a consumer electronics company, routinely included an item in her budget labeled "special projects." Although Marcia would occasionally have a special project for which she needed money, she always allotted more money for special projects than she anticipated requiring. She rationalized this game by telling trusted colleagues that if she didn't have this slush fund, she would invariably go over budget, be chastised by her bosses, and be told that she needed to do a better job of watching her spending. "My way," she said, "I stay in management's good graces and make sure my department is properly funded."
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