Strategy-Focused Organization: The Key To Balanced Scorecard Reporting Initiatives

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How is strategy used in Balanced Scorecard Reporting?

Strategy-Focused Organization: The Key To Balanced Scorecard Reporting Initiatives

The discerning student of business intelligence trends, understands the role of scorecarding to the performance organization. Dr. Robert Kaplan, Harvard Business School professor and co-developer of the Balanced Scorecard, offers that the twin necessities of leadership and management drive such organizations, and scorecards – a key element of a performance management system - are part of their solution. Given this observation, he further proposes that a Strategy-Focused Organization (SFO) is best suited to perform effectively, employing the principles of leadership and management.

Dr. Kaplan envisions three phases in the process to become an SFO. Common to most project management constructs, he sees the first phase as a mobilization effort where the case for change is made. Early successes characterize the second step, the alignment phase. Finally, he sees "irreversible momentum to be ingrained in the sustainment phase." Before each phase is dissected, it is worth noting that Dr. Kaplan portrays that each phase is further comprised of guiding principles, leadership objectives, core competencies, and management tasks. In this elegant model of how a SFO, or any fine organization could develop a desired set or sets of identity traits, we see direct links to performance efficacy through leadership.

Mobilization is charged to establish change through executive leadership. Clear objectives include achievement of commitment from the top down, development of an executive team, and foment a case for change. Since leadership is the catalyst for this kind of culture change, the executive (or team) takes on the role of the missionary in order to make change happen. This is embodied in advocating, educating, and then selling a novel way of managing. In order to see it through to the end, a number of management tasks are required ‘close the sale' including, communications through outreach, one-on-one discussion, and study. Most importantly, iterative assessment is needed throughout the process to measure the state of change.

Alignment is the initialization of execution and includes translating the strategy to make it transparent to all business unit functions throughout the organization. This has the effect of aligning the performers and, if done successfully will serve to produce the ‘early wins' needed to instill the motivation to make change happen. It is here that we flashback to the constructs of scorecarding through establishing and communicating long-term targets and the overall strategy. As with any coordinated organizational effort, a project team will have to be assigned. This group of managers serves as consultants and change agents for the leadership, and performs numerous mapping, scorecarding, and alignment tasks. Important to the overall effort, the managers on the project team are also tasked with problem solving and overcoming resistance within the organization.

The model assumes success has been achieved as the result of the previous



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