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Alignment: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Create Corporate Synergies: How to Apply the Balanced Scorecard to Corporate Strategy (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. April 2006
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Most organisations consist of multiple business and support units, each populated by highly trained, experienced executives. But often the efforts of individual units are not coordinated, resulting in conflicts, lost opportunities, and diminished performance Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton argue that the responsibility for this critical alignment lies with corporate headquarters.In this book, the authors apply their revolutionary Balanced Scorecard management system to corporate-level strategy, revealing how highly successful enterprises achieve powerful synergies by explicitly defining corporate headquarters' role in setting, coordinating, and overseeing organisational strategy. Based on extensive field research in organisations worldwide, "Alignment" shows how companies can build an enterprise-level Strategy Map and Balanced Scorecard that clearly articulate the "enterprise value proposition": how the enterprise creates value above that achieved by individual business units operating alone.The book provides case studies, actionable frameworks, and sample scorecards that show how to align business and support units, boards of directors, and external partners with the corporate strategy and create a governance process that will ensure that alignment is sustained.The next breakthrough in strategy execution from the field's premier thinkers, "Alignment" shows how today's companies can unlock unrealised value from enterprise synergies.
Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende
Robert S. Kaplan is the Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School. David Norton serves as President of Balanced Scorecard Collaborative/Palladium.
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The authors start with a wonderful story:
Imagine an eight-person shell racing up the river populated by highly trained rowers, but each with different ideas of how to achieve success. But rowing at different speeds and in different directions could cause the shell to travel in circles and perhaps capsize. The winning team invariably rows in beautiful synchronism; each rower strokes powerfully but consistently with all the others, guided by a coxswain [corporate center], who has the responsibility for pacing and steering the course of action.
Unfortunately, many firms are like an uncoordinated shell. They consist of strong business units, each populated by highly trained, experienced and motivated executives. But the efforts of the individual businesses are not coordinated.
Unsurprisingly, the authors suggest that their four scorecard perspectives on financials, customers, processes, as well as growth/learning also could be used to create organizational alignment and also find synergies, e.g.
- FINANCIAL: acquiring and integrating other firms, monitoring and governance processes, skills in negotiating with external entities (capital providers, etc.)
- CUSTOMERS: leverage common customers (cross-sales), corporate brand, common customer value propositions across the world,
- PROCESSES: exploiting core competencies in product or production technologies, sourcing or distribution skills, etc.
- LEARNING AND GROWTH: Enhancing human capital thru excellent HR practices, leveraging a common technology, sharing best-practices and knowledge.
The book does not only focus on how to align the corporate-level and businesses, it also covers how to align towards support functions (finance, IT and HR), external business partners (customers, suppliers) and even the board.
Don't buy this book as your first on scorecards. It requires that you have read some of the previous published articles or books by the author team. However, if you are a balanced scorecard practitioner, then this book adds yet another dimension to our understanding of how to make scorecard systems work in an organization.
Being a corporate strategist, I can use most of this thinking in my day-to-day work - and I can highly recommend it to all other scorecard insiders.
If you're interested in Balanced Scorecard, you should obviously read the core by Kaplan and Norton - especially the "Strategy-Focused Organization". But I also recommend a very capable book by the Swedes Olve et al (2003) - "Making Scorecards Actionable: Balancing Strategy and Control" - that even includes some thinking on why balanced scorecards go wrong - and what to do about it. Paul Niven (2005) does the same in his "Balanced scorecard diagnostics".
If you're even more interested in performance measurement systems, then do also consider "Performance Prism" by Neely et al (2002) that takes performance systems to the next level. Personally, I don't believe they've designed balanced scorecard's successor, but they have many interesting perspectives on stakeholders, choice of measurements, and the relationship between cause and effect.
MSc in International Business (Marketing & Management) and Graduate Diploma in E-business
Leaders have always found it much easier to formulate strategy than to turn strategies into accomplishments. As the authors note, many such organizations are like an uncoordinated 8-person rowing shell than a championship team.
In studies of the Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame organizations, the authors learned that organizational alignment is a more important factor than mobilization, strategic translation, employee motivation and governance in achieving superior results during execution.
The authors identify eight essential check points for successful organizational alignment:
1. An enterprise value proposition (to lead strategic guidelines)
2. Board and shareholder alignment (to approve, review and monitor strategy)
3. Coordination between the corporate offices and the corporate support units (by creating corporate policies)
4. Coordination between the corporate office and the business units (business unit strategy matching the corporate direction)
5. Coordination between the business units and the support units (to create appropriate functional strategies)
6. Alignment between business units and their customers (an on-going to and fro)
7. Alignment among business support teams and their suppliers and external partners (to share problems and solutions)
8. Company support coordination (among the corporate support people and the business support activities)
To get a sense of the whole process, be sure to turn to figure 9-1.
The great strength of the book comes, however, in its many examples and case studies involving organizations like Aktira, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi, Citizen Schools, City of Brisbane, DuPont Engineering Polymers, Handleman, Hilton Hotels, IBM Leasing, Ingersoll Rand, KeyCorp, Lockheed Martin Enterprise Information Systems, Marriott Vacation Club, MDS, Metalcraft (disguised name), Media General, New Profit Inc., Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Salmon recovery in Washington State, Sport-Man, Inc. Tiger Textiles (disguised name), and the U.S. Army.
Don't miss this book.
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Being somewhat new to BSC, I have spent the last six months trying to absorb everything I can on the methodolgy. Alignment really focuses on how to spread the strategy throughout the organization, as well as to other external stakeholders. The Balanced Scorecard (book) is required reading before picking this one up - and this book is probably a better offering than Strategy Maps by Kaplan & Norton. A good read.
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