Everything that I have done so far is to help you to think more philosophically and strategically about your organization so that you, as the leader of your company, begin to think more intentionally, deeply, and wisely about how to grow and improve your organization and help those whom you lead to do the same. Leader, if you have not taken the time to structure your own thinking with regard to a detailed mental model for designing the development of your organization, it is highly likely that the members of your leadership team do not possess structured minds either.

One proven formula for growing the capabilities of every employee in your organization is to teach them to think about your business in terms of a strategy map. An organizational strategy map communicates your philosophical and strategic imperatives in order to give everyone a shared understanding of how the organization creates sustainable profitability. A strategy map enables everyone to intelligently understand how the business is structured and to see how their roles and responsibilities contribute to the success of the company’s mission and vision. People First International’s Business Strategy Map will help you develop and communicate a coherent organizational Strategy Map, which will create a firm basis for organizational well-being and profitability.

The field of organizational development has seen steady advancement in strategy mapping and score carding during the last two decades. Drs. Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton designed a widely popular performance measurement tool, called the Balanced Scoreboard, in the early 1990s. Kaplan and Norton have introduced the Balanced Scoreboard to hundreds of organizations; it is the most commonly used performance management tool in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and ranks as the fifth most commonly used tool globally. Caterpillar, Microsoft, Mobil, Sears, and UCLA, to name just a few, all utilize Balanced Scoreboards.

Indeed, at least half of the Fortune 1000 companies are using balanced scoreboards. Kaplan and Norton assert, “Research shows that 70% of organizations with a formal strategy management process report performance results greater than those without such a process.” In a 2008 article in the Harvard Business Review, Dr. Kaplan suggested that many of the financial institutions that failed during the Great Recession might have averted disaster if they had utilized the Balanced Scoreboard (BSC). “Many of the failed or failing organizations suffered from having a much too narrow focus on short-term financial performance,” Kaplan explained. “This is exactly the problem that the BSC was designed to mitigate.”

Kaplan and Norton’s groundbreaking Balanced Scorecard is centered on four performance perspectives:

  1. Learning and Growth
  2. Internal processes
  3. Customers
  4. Financial

When implemented properly, each one of these perspectives contains four subcategories:

  • Objectives – what the strategy is to achieve in that perspective
  • Measures – how progress for that particular objective will be measured
  • Targets – refers to the target value that the company seeks to obtain for each measure
  • Initiatives – what will be done to facilitate the reaching of the target

People First International has utilized elements from Kaplan and Norton’s Scoreboard, particularly the four subcategories of their Strategy Mapping. And while we celebrate the foundation of corporate values that the Balanced Scoreboard rests on, we prefer to dig down to bedrock: a philosophical foundation. As you will soon see, we urge our clients to begin their strategy map by articulating an intellectual raison d’être—that is, a reason for being.

The underlying purpose for the People First Business Strategy Map is to teach everyone in your organization to think philosophically and strategically—in other words, to help them think like entrepreneurs and accelerate your employees’ understanding of your organization. This understanding will make them infinitely more effective in their individual contributions toward accomplishing the company’s mission and vision. Moreover, we want to help everyone in your organization to become very intentional with regard to the importance of their own personal development, which will directly influence the development of the organization. Everyone in your organization should memorize this truism: the personal drives the professional.