The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action (Anglais) Relié – 1 septembre 1996
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In this book, four dimensions of strategy thought are "Financial, Customer, Operations, and Learning and Development". Authors strongly believe that there should be a powerful connection among these four dimensions if organizations are to be successful in an environment in which stiff competition dominates. According to the authors, one of the most important cause of business failures is that some companies make an excess emphasis on financial objectives and so ignore the ways to realize these objectives. How to develop a system which makes an equal emphasis on four dimensions of strategy mentioned above is explained in the book. For managers who do not know but want to learn how to make a plan that will be functional and measurable, this book is a must.
The one of the most important contributions of this book is its approach to the Learning Process in strategic planning. According to the authors, strategy creating process is also a learning process and therefore should be exploited.
I strongly recommend.
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The authors then go on to presenting each of the four perspectives in details and discuss how the Balanced Scorecard measures link to the strategy. In the subsequent section, the authors focus on how the Scorecard is used to manage business strategy. The framework presented revives the traditional thinking around strategy and how it is implemented in a very pragmatic manner - balancing both strategy and its associated execution. What I particularly enjoyed are the numerous case studies and examples presented that help anchor the concepts.
A classic must read in the area of Corporate Strategy!
Below are key excerpts from the book that I found particularly insightful:
1- "The Balanced Scorecard emphasizes that financial and nonfinancial measures must be part of the information system for employees at all levels of the organization."
2- "As more and more companies work with the Balance Scorecard, they see how it can be used to:
-clarify and gain consensus about strategy,
-communicate strategy throughout the organization,
-align departmental and personal goalts to the strategy,
-link strategic objectives to long-term targets and annual budgets,
-identify and align strategic initiatives,
-perform periodic and systematic strategic review, and obtain feedback to learn about and improve strategy."
3- "A strategy is a set of hypotheses about cause and effect. The measurement system should make the relationships (hypotheses) among objectives (and measures) in the various perspectives explicit that they can be managed and validated."
4- "The financial objectives serve as the focus for the objectives and measures in all the other scorecard perspectives. Every measure selected should be part of a link of cause-and-effect relationships that culminate in improving financial performance."
5- "The scorecard should tell the story of the strategy, starting with the long-run financial objectives, linking these to the sequence of actions that must be taken with financial processes, customers, internal processes, and finally employees and systems to deliver long-term economic performance."
6- "In the internal-business process perspective, managers identify the critical processes at which they must excel if they are to meet the objectives of shareholders and of targeted customer segments...One recent development has been to incorporate the innovation process as a vital component of the internal-business-process perspective."
7- "While not the same as measurement, and not a long-term substitute for measurement, the text is a marker that serves many of the same objectives as a formal measurement system."
8- "Balanced Scorecard of no more than two dozen measures can be sufficient for measuring their operations. They are, of course, correct in a narrow sense, but they fail to distinguish between diagnostic measures - those measures that monitor whether the business remains in control and can signal when unusual events are occurring that require immediate attention - and strategic measures - those that define a strategy designed for competitive excellence."
9- "The Balanced Scorecard is not a replacement for an organization's day-to-day measurement system. The scorecard measures are chosen to drive the attention of managers and employees to those factors expected to lead to competitive breakthroughs for an organization."
10- "The disconnect between strategy formulation and strategy implementation is caused by barriers erected by traditional management systems - the systems organizations use to:
-establish and communicate strategy and directions;
-define departmental, team, and individual goals and directions; and
11- "The scorecard provides a common framework for organizing the planning process of corporate support departments. It enables these departments to understand the strategies of the entire corporation and the individual SBUs so that the support departments can develop and deliver better services that help the operating units and corporation achieve their strategic objectives."
12- "Strategic planning and operational budgeting processes are too important to be treated as independent processes. Strategic planning must be linked to operational budgeting if action is to be tied to vision."
13- "Mintzberg and Simons identify key aspects of this newer or emergent view of strategy:
-Strategies are incremental and emerge over time
-Intended strategies can be superseded
-Strategy formulation and implementation are intertwined
-Strategic ideas can arise throughout the organization
-A strategy is a process"
14- "...the measurement framework in the Balanced Scorecard should be deployed to develop a new management system. The distinction between a measurement and a management system is subtle but crucial. The measurement system should be only a means to achieve an even more important goal - a strategic management system that helps executives implement and gain feedback about their strategy."
15- "Most companies introduce the scorecard to drive single pieces of the management process: Obtain clarity and consensus about strategy, achieve focus, leadership development, strategic intervention, educate the organization, set strategic targets, align programs and investments, build a feedback system."
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