Harvard Business Review Press
April 24, 2006
Most organizations contain multiple business and support units, each led by highly trained, experienced executives and staffed by talented employees. But too often, different units fail to coordinate: they work at cross-purposes and have conflicting goals. Results? Performance-sapping disagreements, lost opportunities, wasted resources – and the corporation whose value amounts to less than the sum of its parts.
Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton explain how to correct such organizational misalignment – not only within the company but between the firm and its board of directors, investors, customers, and suppliers.
The authors maintain that the responsibility for organizational alignment lies with corporate headquarters. They show how top executives can build a corporate-level strategy map and scorecard that graphically depict their company’s “enterprise value proposition” – how the organization creates synergies from its business units – and use the revolutionary Balanced Scorecard management system to set, coordinate, and oversee implementation of high-level strategy.
A wealth of case studies, actionable frameworks, and sample strategy maps and scorecards from actual companies reveal how business leaders can use the Balanced Scorecard to ensure that all parts of their organization are working in concert toward the same strategic end.
Alignment provides an array of potent practices – including:
- Ways to leverage financial synergies across a diverse corporate portfolio – for instance, through effective monitoring and resource-allocation processes
- Methods for encouraging the cross-selling of products and services to create unique solutions for customers shared among multiple business units
- Techniques for sharing common processes among units to gain economies of scale and capture specialized knowledge and expertise
The next breakthrough in strategy execution from the field’s premier thinkers, Alignment shows how today’s companies can liberate unrealized value through enterprise synergies – and channel that value into stellar performance.
Robert S. Kaplan is the Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School. David P. Norton serves as President of the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative/Palladium.