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Balanced Scorecard Evolution: A Dynamic Approach to Strategy Execution by Paul R. Niven

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CHAPTER 2 Just Like the Boy Scouts: Be Prepared

FIRST THINGS FIRST: WHY ARE YOU DEVELOPING A BALANCED SCORECARD?

I can still remember that morning a few summers back. Before the alarm had a chance to shake me from my slumber I jumped out of bed with a great sense of anticipation, stemming from the fact that I was to begin a Scorecard engagement with a new public-sector client that day. After a hearty breakfast of grapefruit and toast (my grandfather's favorite), I opened my front door and took a couple of steps towards my car when it hit me—something you rarely feel in Southern California—humidity. Not the stifling, barely-drag-one-foot-in-front-of-the-other kind of humidity you get in a Florida summer, but a warm and damp enough sensation for me to audibly utter: “Hmmm, strange.” But my morning was to get even stranger.

When I arrived at the client's location the standard pleasantries were exchanged, after which I was ushered into a large conference room where I was plunked down at the head of the u-shaped table and introduced to the suspicious crowd as their Balanced Scorecard consultant. As my host enthusiastically outlined my background I thought to myself: “Two minutes into this and we're off the page already.” I was sure he was going to reach a crescendo that would go something like, “Now join me in welcoming Paul as he tells us all about the Balanced Scorecard,” but just as the humidity had jolted me earlier that morning his next move caught me off guard as well. He ...

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