Implementing the balanced scorecard.

Do you believe in the concept of the balanced scorecard as a tool to implement strategy and optimize stakeholder and customer satisfaction? Do you, nonetheless, fail to implement it successfully at all levels in your organisation? Almost all my clients tell me that is the case in their  organisations. Very few have even attempted to cascade it below the most senior levels, where like all essential components of team performance, it is most effective.

The balanced scorecard, originally popularised by Kaplan and Norton, has become synonymous with a systematic approach to implement strategy.

Strategy; Where to begin?

Strategy formulation is the selection of the best course of action in order to achieve the organization’s vision. Strategy formulation can also be thought of as a series of one to three year goals.Basically, strategy formulation defines how the organization is going to achieve its vision and direction, or how to close the gap between where it is now and where it wants to be. In other words, it identifies the correct road map to follow in order to arrive at the desired destination.

Once an organization has clarified where it is going in the future, it needs to clarify where it is now, in the present. Practitioners argue about the starting point in the business planning process. Some believe it is better to start with where you are now, and others believe it is better to start with where you want to be. We believe that, at the end of the day, it doesn’t make much difference because you have to do both. We prefer to analyse where an organization wants to be first, because it is better to deploy lateral creativity and imagination before restricting the organization to the reality of where it is now.

Focus on measurable results.

The consultant asked the worker what he was doing. “Reading the newspaper,” he replied. The consultant scribbled on his clipboard. He then asked a second worker what he was doing. The second worker also replied that he was reading the newspaper. The consultant, after scribbling on his clipboard, paused, looked up and said: “I think we have a case of job duplication here, one of you will have to go.

Do you struggle to control the delivery of measurable results by the people that you lead? Wouldn't it be great if they stopped micro- managing each other, were more empowered and engaged, and less apathetic? What do they want? Why haven't we totally solved this problem yet?

Basic survival

Organizations throughout the world are undergoing extraordinary change. Advances in information technology, the changing labour force, and global competition are affecting the way both small businesses and large corporations operate. And the changes are not restricted to the private sector. The move towards privatisation means more governments are adopting practices previously the preserve of private industry. Contracting-out services and the formation of new business alliances must be managed effectively.

The globalisation of world markets is facilitated by the ease with which buyers and sellers can now find each other. Never before has the communication technology been in place to aid business transactions on such a scale, and this technology is set to become even more sophisticated in the future.