The creators of the revolutionary performance management tool called the Balanced Scorecard introduce a new approach that makes strategy a continuous process owned not just by top management, but by everyone. In The Strategy-Focused Organization, Robert Kaplan and David Norton share the results of ten years of learning and research into more than 200 companies that have implemented the Balanced Scorecard. Drawing from more than twenty in-depth case studies--including Mobil, CIGNA, and AT&T Canada--Kaplan and Norton illustrate how Balanced Scorecard adopters have taken their groundbreaking tool to the next level. These organizations have used the scorecard to create an entirely new performance management framework that puts strategy at the center of key management processes and systems.
Kaplan and Norton articulate the five key principles required for building strategy-focused organizations: 1) translate the strategy into operational terms, 2) align the organization to the strategy, 3) make strategy everyone's everyday job, 4) make strategy a continual process, and 5) mobilize change through strong, effective leadership. The authors provide a detailed account of how a range of organizations in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors have deployed these principles to achieve breakthrough, sustainable performance improvements.
In their previous book, The Balanced Scorecard, Robert Kaplan and David Norton unveiled an innovative "performance management system" that any company could use to focus and align their executive teams, business units, human resources, information technology, and financial resources on a unified overall strategy--much as businesses have traditionally employed financial management systems to track and guide their general fiscal direction. In The Strategy-Focused Organization, Kaplan and Norton explain how companies like Mobil, CIGNA, and Chemical Retail Bank have effectively used this approach for nearly a decade, and in the process present a step-by-step implementation outline that other organizations could use to attain similar results. Their book is divided into five sections that guide readers through development of a completely individualized plan that is created with "strategy maps" (graphical representations designed to clearly communicate desired outcomes and how they are to be achieved), then infused throughout the enterprise and made an integral part of its future. In several chapters devoted to the latter, for example, the authors show how their models have linked long-term strategy with day-to-day operational and budgetary management, and detail the "double loop" process for doing so, monitoring progress, and initiating corrective actions if necessary. --Howard Rothman