Today I was reminded what the coolest thing is about Balanced Scorecards: THE CONVERSATION
The point of a scorecard is to force "the conversation" about the most important “red” measures (those not hitting targets). Sure
there are other benefits of scorecards, like communication of strategy and transparency, but for
me I’m most excited to see my client have an honest conversation about
what they can do to turn “reds” to “greens.” The real reason to develop a scorecard, after all, is that it's not just a report. Reports don’t relieve stress in the organization. The conversation that occurs during a Scorecard Business Review does.
As many of you can appreciate, there are no guarantees that you’ll get to the conversation.
But after the strategic planning, the scorecard cascading, the cultural resistance to “more work,” the gathering of the data, the setting of targets…today we made it!
I felt truly happy to listen to a cross-functional conversation about a “red” measure in the purchasing area. At the beginning you could feel the tension in the room. This measure symbolized the stress behind the process. But the conversation forced the participants to truly understand the current process and to brainstorm how they could improve it. Once that happened, the scorecard participants could see the light at the end of the tunnel. This will be a "green" measure soon. Their lives will be so much less hectic next year. They finally saw the value that the CEO promised would be there.