Harvard Business Review Press
In today’s business environment, strategy has never been more important. Yet research shows that most companies fail to execute strategy successfully. Behind this abysmal track record lies an undeniable fact: many companies continue to use management processes – top-down, financially driven, and technical – that were designed to run yesterday’s organizations.
Now, 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, Nova Scotia Power, and AT&T Canada – Kaplan and Norton illustrate how Balanced Scorecard adopters have taken their ground-breaking tool to the next level. These organizations have used the scorecard to create an entirely new performance management framework that put 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 to 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.
Presenting a practical, proven framework steeped in rich case study experience, The Strategy-Focused Organization helps solve a universal management problem – not just how to formulate strategy, but how to make it work. Building on one of the most revolutionary business ideas of our time, this important book shows how today’s leaders can shape their own companies to meet the challenges and reap the rewards of a new competitive era.
Robert S. Kaplan is the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at the Harvard Business School. David P. Norton is President of Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, Inc.