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Balanced Scorecard advice: Why give it away, and what is my credibility?

Why give away so much balanced scorecard advice?  And what credibility and experience do I have to offer and share such balanced scorecard advice?  On this page I explain:

  1. Why you probably don’t need to pay someone for expensive balanced scorecard training
  2. My credibility and experience: why listen and use any of this advice?
  3. Why have I shared all this balanced scorecard advice?
  4. A word on “Modern Balanced Scorecards”
  5. Why I have moved to Fourth Generation Strategic Balanced Scorecards
  6. And provide links to more useful advice on related topics

1. Don’t pay for expensive balanced scorecard training: just read and apply these articles

Why pay for expensive balanced scorecard advice and training?  All the advice, articles and video, linked from this “Modern Balanced Scorecard Zone: a practical guide” are freely available:  read them, share them, think about them and apply them.  They explain different types of balanced scorecards, how they solve different problems.  They explain the underlying thinking and principles that you should apply when designing, developing and using a modern balanced scorecard approach.  They will help you design, implement and use a Modern Balanced Scorecard.

Do be careful choosing a balanced scorecard training provider.  Here is an (admittedly old now) example from a client talking about what they received: poor balanced scorecard training.  I have also come across other clients who have spent a week, and a lot of money on a balanced scorecard course, only to be told that Strategy Mapping was difficult and they need some consultancy now!   This is both poor practice and frankly, in the second case, unethical in my book. In contrast we work with Executive teams with the intention of by the end of the first day, they have their own strategy map and first cut balanced scorecard frameworks. And they are trained at the same time, because we customise the training for that management team.

2.  My credibility: real, extensive, balanced scorecard experience

I worked for Kaplan and Norton in their first company, “Renaissance Worldwide” for over 4 years, 1995-2000.  I became head of Renaissance’s strategy consultancy in the latter year.  I have been helping executive teams design and implement strategic Balanced Scorecards since 1996.

By 2009 I was so fed up with the rubbish being talked about Balance Scorecards, that I wrote my book, “Strategy Mapping for Learning organisations”.  It was designed to explain the underlying thinking to anyone thinking of implementing a strategic balanced scorecard. To get past the simplistic rubbish and explain how we really thought during a client engagement.  To provide useful balanced scorecard advice for real practitioners.  David Norton wrote kindly the rather complementary foreword for the book which you can read here.

I have continued to refine and develop the approach based on real client experience.  Remember that the balanced scorecard approach is based on praxis, not theory.

This practical balanced scorecard advice is based on real world experience. Experience gathered and developed over 25 years and on around 70 implementations of strategic balanced scorecards, working with executive teams, in a wide variety of organisations.  When this advice is applied properly, it works:  That is what my clients tell me.

I am happy to share this balanced scorecard advice with you because I want you to avoid simple mistakes, I want to help you recognise and avoid the misleading articles that are out there.  I want you to succeed.

I have a second reason.  I have moved on.  I now use a more sophisticated approach, that these first three generations of Balanced Scorecard.  I now use what i call the the Fourth Generation Strategic Balanced Scorecard approach.  An approach much better suited to the organisational environment and challenges of today.  I refer to it as the Fourth Generation Strategic Balanced Scorecard approach.

3.  Why share all this balanced scorecard advice?

I am happy to share the advice on this website and let people use it,  freely. (Of course, it would be nice if you acknowledge the source).  It is part of my contribution to the performance management world, alongside my book, Strategy Mapping for Learning Organisations.

If you are a consultant, all I ask is that you explain to your client that you are using my advice.  It comes with no warranty.  You choose how to apply it, but it would be dishonest of you to say it was your approach.  Some consultants have the courtesy to thank me for the material I provide.   Many can’t be bothered, but I know they visit my site.  So be it. You know who you are.

4.  A word on modern balanced scorecards

These balanced scorecards, whether they be first, second or third generation,  still work: in the right circumstances, as long as you understand what problems you are trying to solve with them and their limitations.

I refer to them as “Modern Balanced Scorecards”.  It helps to distinguish from much dated and simplistic thinking that exists on the web.  I  believe that if organisations read, appreciate and follow this advice here, and in the book, they can have a pretty decent, and pretty useful, modern balanced scorecard system, of whatever type they choose, be that first, second or third generation balanced scorecard.


5.  I have moved on to Fourth Generation Strategic Balanced Scorecards

I must make it clear though, that I have moved on. My thinking has moved on.  So, has the thinking and ways of working of my clients.  As a result, my consultancy approach has moved on.  That is why, what others are selling, I am happy to give away for free.

We now help our clients design, implement and use what we refer to as the “Fourth Generation Strategic Balanced Scorecard approach.”.  Many of core principles in “modern” balanced scorecards are still in the Fourth-Generation approach.  However, the context has changed how we look at them, view them and use them.   As one of my colleagues put it, “In many ways Phil’s Fourth Generation Strategic Balanced Scorecard approach is so far removed from traditional scorecard thinking, that it really deserves a different name.”

I have come to recognise several paradigm shifts in the way individual executives and even whole organisations think about strategy, their people, their organisations and how they want to manage.  We have been seeing this evolve for about 10 years.  These paradigm shifts have changed the whole way we look at performance management, strategy and how things are managed.

Actually, I have come to the conclusion that even Performance Management does not exist (on its own).

6.  More reading

So return to the practical advice in the Modern Balanced Scorecard Zone, but I suggest you also bookmark

Happy reading.