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Strategy Maps for the Mission Driven Organization

Posted March 24, 2008 3:14 PM by Ted Jackson

For years management frameworks from the business sector have been forced upon mission-driven organizations from the public and non-profit sector; many of them not appropriate for an organization which is not driven primarily by a financial "bottom line." How then can the Balanced Scorecard management system have proven so successful for mission driven organizations?

Many mission-driven organizations have achieved great results with the Balanced Scorecard. For instance: -- Canadian Blood Services, responsible for the majority of Canada's blood supply and bone marrow, was able to increase blood donor satisfaction, hospital satisfaction, and increased the yield of red blood cells preserved in the manufacturing process yielding a savings of more than $3mm. -- Fulton County Schools in Georgia was able to increase performance in a myriad of areas including student test results for underprivileged as well as non-underprivileged students, SAT scores, teacher satisfaction, and parent involvement and satisfaction.

These significant results are perhaps more notable because of the unique nature of the organization's mission. Being government funded they cannot choose their "customers" nor can they "rationalize their product line" to optimize profitability as would their private sector counterparts. Rather, they are driven by their mission to serve all of their constituents: the Canadian citizens and the families and children of Fulton County.

How then have these and other mission-driven organizations been able to achieve such significant results by using the Balanced Scorecard which is so rooted in the for-profit sector? The answer is that they have modified the approach to fit their unique strategy. They have examined the question that might be simple for Wal-Mart or Charles Schwab – who is the customer? Is the customer the blood donor or the blood recipient? Perhaps it is the hospitals distributing the blood? Is the customer the student, family or perhaps the community?

Another fundamental question is what are our financial obligations – are we obligated to demonstrate our fiscal performance to donors and other stakeholders? Or are we government funded and responsible to demonstrate good stewardship rather than financial success? And finally, are there any perspectives beyond the traditional four: financial, customer, internal, learning and growth? Perhaps the environment, community, volunteer, etc. are critical to the strategy. The answers to these questions will have a significant impact on the structure of a mission-driven organization's Strategy Map

Filed Under Balanced Scorecard