Plans are nothing; planning is everything.
—Dwight D. Eisenhower
The most widely used management tool is strategic planning. Bain & Company, an international consulting firm, does an annual survey of more than 8,000 international clients. Since the early 1990s, this survey has shown strategic planning to be one of the most frequently used and highly rated management tools.
Before you can begin developing a Balanced Scorecard, you must start with a strategic foundation. For most organizations this foundation has the following components:
Any search of Amazon.com will point you to many books on business strategy. This topic has at least 10 schools of thought, and most business executives have their own preferences and opinions that guide their development of strategy. Because so much information on strategic planning is available, this chapter won’t attempt to describe how you should formulate your own business strategy. But it gives you some background on the basic tools needed for developing strategy in preparation for your Balanced Scorecard.
You must remember one thing as you develop your strategy: What differentiates you from your competition is how well you execute your strategy. You may develop a great strategy, but it will fail if you can’t, or don’t, execute it. The Balanced Scorecard is your tool ...