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Comment: The item shows wear from consistent use, but it remains in good condition and works perfectly. All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
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The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment Hardcover – September, 2000

4.5 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com 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 as businesses have traditionally employed financial management systems to track and guide their general fiscal direction. In The Strategy-Focused Organization, 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 development of a completely individualized plan that is 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 devoted to the latter, 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

From the Back Cover

"The Strategy-Focused Organization is a great example of how practical management concepts grounded in solid research grow in usefulness. History will judge this to be one of the most important books on strategy ever written because it bridges the chasm between concept and implementation. Every manager should read it."

-Clayton Christensen, Professor, Harvard Business School, and Author, The Innovator's Dilemma

"Kaplan and Norton chronicle the long-overdue shift from management 'by the numbers' to a performance management process that places well-articulated, knowledge-based strategies at the center of every employee's activities. Given the pace of change in the new economy, strategy-focused processes that are measurable, repeatable, and supported by superior information are the only true sources of sustainable competitive advantage. Organizations that ignore this reality do so at their own risk."

-James H. Goodnight, President & CEO, SAS

"The Balanced Scorecard is an innovative performance management tool that provides enormous help in tackling the tough job of managing state government for results."

-Gary Locke, Governor, State of Washington

"Kaplan and Norton's framework is clearly taking hold as a business model for today and tomorrow. Our own Balanced Scorecard journey has allowed us not only to 'tell the story of our strategy' and deliver positive results for our stakeholders, but to unite our team members around a system that measures, rewards, and motivates performance based on achieving goals that move our company forward." -Dieter Huckestein, Hotel Division President, Hilton Hotels Corporation

"The Strategy-Focused Organization recognizes and reinforces organization issues and moves the Balanced Scorecard from a strategic imperative to a business result. Leaders in all functions-and at all levels-will find it a useful blueprint for turning strategy into action."

-Dave Ulrich, Professor of Business Administration, University of Michigan


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press; 1 edition (September 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1578512506
  • ISBN-13: 978-1578512508
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #115,037 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Max More on January 30, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Strategy-Focused Organization
Building on their Balanced Scorecard approach, Kaplan and Norton have developed an impressive framework in The Strategy-Focused Organization for the implementation of strategy. They have found that 90% of strategic initiatives fail due not to formulation but to implementation difficulties. Successful implementation of strategy requires all parts of an organizations to be aligned and linked to the strategy, while strategy itself must become a continual process in which everyone is involved. The Balanced Scorecard, originally seen by the authors as a measurement tool, is now presented as a means for implementing strategy by creating alignment and focus.
Financial measures report on lagging financial indicators. The Balanced Scorecard aims to report on the drivers of future value creation. The book shows in detail how this is done from four perspectives: Financial, customer, internal business perspective, and learning and growth (these are outlined on p.77). These four perspectives produce a highly detailed framework when combined with the five 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 everyday job. 4: Make strategy a continual process. 5: Mobilize change through executive leadership.
Absorbing every detail of this book will require many hours. The sheer detail of this complex system requires considerable attention, perhaps more than some readers can muster, but clearly distinguishes this work from many books full of business fluff. The style tends to be turgid and pedantic while being admirably complete.
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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. "With a Balanced Scorecard that tells the story of the strategy, we now have a reliable foundation for the design of a management system to create Strategy-Focused Organizations.
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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
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.
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