Balancing Your Strategic Priorities

Often, business owners and executives fall prey to the allure of setting too many financial goals. Or their goals are exclusively financial. Thinking too much about the financial side of business detracts from the other reasons they're in business, such as employing people, contributing to their communities, or providing a needed product or service. Enter the Balanced Scorecard.

The Balanced Scorecard (BSC) is an excellent management tool that ensures you have a holistic and balanced strategy as well as a way to track performance over time to assess whether goals are being met. I introduce the Balanced Scorecard in this chapter to help you write goals in the four key areas that all organizations must excel in to succeed. Chapters 13 and 14 go into further detail to help you build and develop the rest of your scorecard, including how to track your measures and targets.

The scorecard of success

In the early 1990s, the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) was introduced by Robert Kaplan, a Harvard Business School professor, and David Norton, the founder and president of Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, Inc., as a new way to work with business strategy. Today, more than half of the Fortune 1,000 companies in North America use the BSC, which has become the hallmark of a well-run organization. Many organizations say the scorecard is the foundation of their measurement and management systems.

To have a balanced and holistic strategy, organizations must have ...

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