Overview of The Balanced Scorecard

Many business coaches use The Balanced Scorecard with their clients to help identify key business strategies to achieve objectives in the following four categories:

  • Financial Focus
  • Customer Focus
  • Internal Business Process Focus
  • Learning and Development Focus

The Balanced Scorecard is a strategy-focused measurement and reporting mechanism developmed by Kaplan and Norton in the mid nineties at Harvard Business School.

The four perspectives, or focus areas listed above, are all important.

As compared to other management models and approaches, the “balanced scorecard” approach provides a clear prescription as to what companies should measure in order to “balance” the financial perspective.

In other words, many businesses have such a focus on their financial targets, that the attention is unbalanced against other important areas of the business.

For a business to achieve its financial targets, it must be able to meet all of its customer targets. Customer targets can only be met if there are sound internal business process objectives being achieved. And none of this is possible without also focusing on the learning and development objectives of the organisation and its people, in order for them to perform the necessary behaviours in all categories.

According to The Balanced Scorecard Institute,

“the balanced scorecard is a management system (not only a measurement system) that enables organisations to clarify their vision and strategy and translate them into action. It provides feedback around both the internal business processes and external outcomes in order to continuously improve strategic performance and results. When fully deployed, the balanced scorecard transforms strategic planning from an academic exercise into the nerve centre of an enterprise.”

Today and the next four day’s worth of blog entries will provide you with a number of coaching questions and exercises drawn from The Balanced Scorecard which you may find effective in analysing, planning and driving your business.

Coaching Exercises

Today, we’re asking some general questions about your business. There are many more to be asked, so this is just a starting point.

What is your organisation’s Vision Statement? In other words, what is the ultimate future-oriented goal of the organisation, which would also be the reputation you will have earned? How do you curently measure your performance against your Vision Statement? if you are not curently measuring it, what metrics could be used?

What is your organisation’s Mission Statement? In other words, what are the consisten behaviours and strategies you demonstrate and measure which will achieve your Vision? How do you curently measure your performance against your Mission Statement? if you are not curently measuring it, what metrics could be used?

What are your organisation’s Company Values? These are your core operating principles, either in terms of business practice or individual behaviours? How do you currently measure your performance against your Company Values? If you are not currently measuring it, what metrics could be used?

What are the top five objectives of your organisation right now and for the coming year or so? How are these documented and shared with the various stakeholders? If not documented and shared now, what are you willing to do to correct that?

As always, if you need any further personal support in response to any of these coaching exercises, please consider using the service.

All the best,

Noel Posus – Master Coach