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

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CHAPTER 5 Building Powerful Strategy Maps That Tell Your Strategic Story

WHAT IS A STRATEGY MAP?

A strategy map is a one-page graphical representation of what an organization must do well (in each of the four perspectives) in order to successfully execute its strategy. Strategy maps are composed of objectives, which represent the concise statements of what the organization must do well in each of the four perspectives of financial, customer, internal process, and learning and growth. While strategic plans may often run dozens of pages, the strategy map must be confined to just one page in order to serve its chief purposes of clarifying and communicating strategy. A strategy map is a graphical representation, which deems that it contain not only a narrative (objectives) but images that bring the words to life and imbue the document with a sense of the organization's unique culture.

Breaking It Down

To enhance our understanding of a strategy map, let's break the phrase down into its component parts. First, we'll examine the word map, then we'll take another look at strategy. With those pieces in place we'll look at the role of cause and effect in strategy map development.

A map provides a graphical representation of the whole or part of an area. A good map is essential to help us navigate unfamiliar terrain. Speaking of unfamiliar terrain, although I make my home in California, I'm originally from the province of Nova Scotia, Canada. Perhaps some of you have visited my beautiful ...

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