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Strategy Maps: Converting Intangible Assets into Tangible Outcomes Hardcover – 1 Jan 2004

4.3 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 324 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business School Press; 1st Edition edition (1 Jan. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591391342
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591391340
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 116,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

From the Back Cover

More than a decade ago, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton introduced the Balanced Scorecard, a revolutionary performance measurement system that allowed organizations to quantify intangible assets such as people, information, and customer relationships. Then, in The Strategy-Focused Organization, Kaplan and Norton showed how organizations achieved breakthrough performance with a management system that put the Balanced Scorecard into action.

Now, using their ongoing research with hundreds of Balanced Scorecard adopters across the globe, the authors have created a powerful new tool - the "strategy map"- that enables companies to describe the links between intangible assets and value creation with a clarity and precision never before possible.

Kaplan and Norton argue that the most critical aspect of strategy-implementing it in a way that ensures sustained value creation-depends on managing four key internal processes:

  • operations
  • customer relationships
  • innovation
  • regulatory
  • social processes.

The authors show how companies can use strategy maps to link those processes to desired outcomes; evaluate, measure, and improve the processes most critical to success; and target investments in human, informational, and organizational capital.

Providing a visual epiphany for executives everywhere who can't figure out why their strategy isn't working, Strategy Maps is a blueprint any organization can follow to align processes, people, and information technology for superior performance.

About the Author

Robert S. Kaplan is the Marvin Bower Professor of Leadership Development at Harvard Business School.

David P. Norton serves as a Director with the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative.


Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I'm quite fond of dreamy manifesto-style business books- they accept the limitations of what you can learn from a book and have no other aspirations.
Many so-called paractical business books leave me cold- they are unreasonable, impractical and often impossible to apply to your own organisation. "Strategy maps" is different. The principles within apply to ALL organisations- charities, big banks, small start-ups, widget manufacturers. Crucially it gives a way of measuring and assessing your intangible assets, which is brilliantly useful. The principle of "what can't be described can't be measured" is a great jolt for the imagination.
A completed strategy map allows everyone within any organisation to figure out exactly how they add value and what their contribution can be. On one page of A4 it is possible to describe everything an organisation does- makes you wish more companies would give them out with annual reports :-) it also allows you describe current strategy and gives you tools to analyse it. I found the book particularly useful for my own startup- it made me think clearly about what exactly i had to do, even giving me hints on strategy formulation.
I really can't recommend this book highly enough- clealry written, easy to understand, provocative and actually genuinely useful. This is especially recommended for start-ups, of those thinking about start-ups.
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Format: Hardcover
Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton are the innovators behind the Balanced Scorecard, which has proven to be a potent way of turning strategy into reality. Before the Balanced Scorecard, most strategies failed in execution . . . because people didn't know what they were supposed to do. With the Balanced Scorecard, a very high percentage of strategies are implemented and do succeed. In The Strategy-Focused Organization, Professor Kaplan and Dr. Norton explained the management processes that make implementing the Balanced Scorecard most successful.
Strategy Maps now becomes another essential building block in strategy implementation. Importantly, this building block should be the starting point in your search for success. In the preface, the authors describe the three essential elements behind breakthrough results:
You must first describe the strategy, then measure the strategy for what needs to be executed and then manage the strategy by the measurements. Describing the strategy is the task addressed in Strategy Maps, measuring the strategy is addressed in the Balanced Scorecard, and The Strategy-Focused Organization looks at managing the strategy by the measurements.
Here's the philosophy the authors provide behind this conclusion:
"You can't manage (third component) what you can't measure (second component) [and] [y]ou can't measure what you can't describe (first component)."
In Strategy Maps, the authors have shown the way to communicate how each element of a company's activities contributes to the overall success of the strategy. Using the Balanced Scorecard, everyone in the organization knows what to be done. With Strategy Maps, each person will understand the context of what they must do and implementation improves.
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By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER on 17 Jun. 2005
Format: Hardcover
If this book were a Hollywood film, it might be titled "Son of Balanced Scorecard" or even "Balanced Scorecard III." This book, however, is no mere spin-off or sequel. In two prior works, "The Balanced Scorecard" (which you may wish to read before reading this book) and "The Strategy-Focused Organization", authors Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton introduced the powerful concept of measuring the elusive intangibles that affect organizations. This information-dense book was born when the authors observed that CEOs instinctively draw arrows to explain their goals. This led to a breakthrough realization: "Objectives should be linked in cause-and-effect relationships." The graphic display of these relationships is a "strategy map." This book breaks new ground by providing a template so executives can be sure that their strategic planning omits nothing. It expands the concepts of "strategic themes" and "value-creating processes," and explains a system for aligning your organization's strategy with its intangible assets. However, the real-world examples may be lost on CEOs who are unfamiliar with MBA-style case studies. If you're implementing a "Balanced Scorecard" initiative or planning your firm's future, we say this is a blockbuster you don't want to miss.
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Format: Hardcover
Kaplan and Norton co-authored an article which was published in the Harvard Business Review (January/February 1992). In it they introduce an exciting new concept: the balanced scorecard. They have since published three books: this one, preceded by The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action (1996) and The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment (2000). Here's some background on the two books before we shift our attention to Strategy Maps.

In The Balanced Scorecard, as Kaplan and Norton explain in their Preface, "the Balanced Scorecard evolved from an improved measurement system to an improved management system." The distinction is critically important to understanding this book. Senior executives in various companies have used the Balanced Scorecard as 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. When writing this book, it was the authors' hope that the observations they share would help more executives to launch and implement Balanced Scorecard programs in their organizations.

Then in The Strategy-Focused Organization, Kaplan and Norton note that, according to an abundance of research data, 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.
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