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The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment Hardcover – 1 Oct 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press (1 Oct. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578512506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578512508
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.3 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 386,577 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description

Amazon Review

In their previous book, The Balanced Scorecard, Robert Kaplan and David Norton unveiled an innovative "performance management system" that any company could use to focus and align their executive teams, business units, human resources, information technology and financial resources on a unified overall strategy--much like businesses have traditionally employed financial management systems to track and guide their general fiscal direction. In The Strategy-focused Organisation, Kaplan and Norton explain how companies like Mobil, CIGNA and Chemical Retail Bank have effectively used this approach for nearly a decade, and in the process present a step-by-step implementation outline that other organizations could use to attain similar results. Their book is divided into five sections that guide readers through the development of a completely individualised plan created with "strategy maps" (graphical representations designed to clearly communicate desired outcomes and how they are to be achieved), then infused throughout the enterprise and made an integral part of its future. In several chapters, for example, the authors show how their models have linked long-term strategy with day-to-day operational and budgetary management, and detail the "double loop" process for doing so, monitoring progress, and initiating corrective actions if necessary. --Howard Rothman

About the Author

Robert S. Kaplan is the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at Harvard Business School.
David P. Norton is the President of the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative, Inc.


Inside This Book

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THE ABILITY TO EXECUTE STRATEGY. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 34 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 3 Feb. 2001
Format: Hardcover
The Strategy-Focused Organization clearly deserves more than five stars. It is one of the ten most important business books of the past decade. The book successfully outlines an enormous improvement in communications practices for making important changes in for profit and nonprofit organizations. The communications stall is the most prevalent one in most organizations. Application of the authors' ideas can bring about a significant improvement in our society.
This book is an interim report on the application of the authors' concept, the Balanced Scorecard (introduced in 1992 and described in the book of the same name, published in 1996). The purpose of the book is to provide "a roadmap for those who wish to create their own Strategy-Focused Organization . . . [by employing the Balanced Scorecard]."
If you don't know what the Balanced Scorecard is, let me briefly describe it for you. A Balanced Scorecard adds several important measures to the ones normally found in the accounting system, designed to measure those areas where performance most directly and powerfully affects strategic position. Such areas include innovation, organizational learning, effectiveness in key tasks, and performance with key audiences like customers. The measures are chosen to reflect the systematic effects of how the organization's overall value and performance are improved, and are displayed in a Strategy Map that communicates those ideas to one and all. In doing so, the Balanced Scorecard is the applied solution to many of the issues raised about how to establish a learning organization in Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline.
Most new business concepts do not last long enough to warrant a study on their effectiveness.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By elizabeth lockett on 5 Dec. 2000
Format: Hardcover
Kaplan and Norton continue the exploration of the balanced scorecard with a good exposisition of the balanced scorecard in strategy implementation. The ideas of the text are good and the examples sound. There are only two areas of possible weakness. The first is the need to understand the previous book - having not read it in a year I found it useful to refer back, the second is the focus of industries - which are by on large manufacturing, while in a consultancy environment the score card is a useful tool
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Format: Hardcover
If you have not already read Kaplan and Norton's The Balanced Scoreboard, I presume to suggest that you do so prior to reading this book. However, this sequel is so thoughtful and well-written that it can certainly be of substantial value to decision-makers in any organization (regardless of size or nature) which is determined to "thrive in the new business environment." Research data suggest that only 5% of the workforce understand their company's strategy, that only 25% of managers have incentives linked to strategy, that 60% of organizations don't link budgets to strategy, and 85% of executive teams spend less than one hour per month discussing strategy. These and other research findings help to explain why Kaplan and Norton believe so strongly in the power of the Balanced Scorecard. As they suggest, it provides "the central organizing framework for important managerial processes such as individual and team goal setting, compensation, resource allocation, budgeting and planning, and strategic feedback and learning." After rigorous and extensive research of their own, obtained while working closely with several dozen different organizations, Kaplan and Norton observed five common principles of a Strategy-Focused Organization:

1. Translate the strategy to operational terms

2. Align the organization to the strategy

3. Make strategy everyone's job

4. Make strategy a continual process

5. Mobilize change through executive leadership

The first four principles focus on the the Balanced Scorecard tool, framework, and supporting resources; the importance of the fifth principle is self-evident.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 22 Aug. 2004
Format: Hardcover
The Strategy-Focused Organization clearly deserves more than five stars. It is one of the ten most important business books of the past ten years. The book successfully outlines an enormous improvement in communications practices for making important changes in for profit and nonprofit organizations. The communications stall is the most prevalent one in most organizations. Application of the authors' ideas can bring about a significant improvement in our society.
This book is an interim report on the application of the authors' concept, the Balanced Scorecard (introduced in 1992 and described in the book of the same name, published in 1996). The purpose of the book is to provide "a roadmap for those who wish to create their own Strategy-Focused Organization . . . [by employing the Balanced Scorecard]."
If you don't know what the Balanced Scorecard is, let me briefly describe it for you. A Balanced Scorecard adds several important measures to the ones normally found in the accounting system, designed to measure those areas where performance most directly and powerfully affects strategic position. Such areas include innovation, organizational learning, effectiveness in key tasks, and performance with key audiences like customers. The measures are chosen to reflect the systematic effects of how the organization's overall value and performance are improved, and are displayed in a Strategy Map that communicates those ideas to one and all. In doing so, the Balanced Scorecard is the applied solution to many of the issues raised about how to establish a learning organization in Peter Senge's The Fifth Discipline.
Most new business concepts do not last long enough to warrant a study on their effectiveness.
Read more ›
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