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The Measures That Matter

Posted June 30, 2011 1:29 PM by Brandon Kline

In the previous post, Mark Cutler highlighted a recent Wall Street Journal article entitled "School Reform, Chicago Style." Near the end of the post, he mentions that one issue for Chicago Public Schools may be the fact that they are measuring too many things. This got me thinking about how important it is to spend time determining the appropriate measures for your organization, and making sure they are tied directly back to the strategy. Having too many measures can be a drain on an organization's time and resources, without providing much added benefit. With budgets being cut and more supporters demanding proof of impact, measuring the wrong things can be costly in more ways than one.

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Measuring School Performance without a Strategy

Posted June 26, 2011 5:16 PM by Dylan Miyake

An article in Saturday, June 25's Wall Street Journal, "School Reform, Chicago Style," provided an interesting picture on measuring performance.

The schools were gathering a lot of data. "Two number crunchers at Marshall [High School] digested tens of thousands of data points, from the frequency of fights to cheerleaders' GPAs." After a year's worth of data collection and analysis, some schools in Chicago were seeing "promising trends."

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The Importance of Effective Communication

Posted June 22, 2011 4:52 PM by Brandon Kline

Does everyone in your organization clearly understand the organizational strategy and how they fit into it? Employees want to know where they fit into the overall strategy, and how their roles contribute to the success of the organization. A clear understanding of the organizational strategy is fundamental to achieving goals and objectives. The key to developing this understanding at all levels of an organization is effective communication. When implementing the Balanced Scorecard, the scope of an organization's internal communication can make or break the efforts.

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Communicating the Balanced Scorecard – Continued

Posted June 14, 2011 1:47 PM by Ted Jackson

OK, I forgot to finish my story about my plane flight and the nice woman who was so poorly introduced to the Balanced Scorecard by her University. Well, it turns out that she did have some established goals in her department, and at the end of the year, she was evaluated on these goals as well as several other measures as part of her Balanced Scorecard review. She said "it would have been nice if they would have told me what they were measuring before they gave me the evaluation." I responded, in a very sophisticated manner, "Duh!"

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Taking Baby Steps in Tracking Performance

Posted June 10, 2011 7:29 PM by Mark Cutler

As most people who have children know, a major milestone in a newborn's first few months of life is when he finally sleeps through the night. If it isn't obvious why this is a milestone, I will tell you: Because his parents get to sleep through the night as well.

Well, with an eight-week old baby boy who was waking up about three times per night and a pediatrician for a wife, something had to give. So, I wasn't surprised when she handed (figuratively, since she gave me the Nook book) me The Baby Sleep Solution. "Read this," she said, "This is how we are going to get him to sleep through the night."

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Communicating the Balanced Scorecard

Posted June 7, 2011 9:19 AM by Ted Jackson

So, I'm not much of a person to talk to people when I'm on an airplane. I guess I don't like to chit chat much, and what are the chances I'm ever going to see that person again. But I was on a plane last week, and the flight was delayed. The woman next to me was trying to meet her son back in Washington, DC for dinner. I told her she would miss the dinner as soon as I noticed the United purser whispering to an attendant from the gate. It turns out that we had to switch planes. My row-mate asked me what I did for a living, and I mumbled something about strategy consulting and the Balanced Scorecard. She said "Oh I hate that thing, the concept is so old!" Well that got my attention.

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The Evolving Donor Landscape

Posted June 6, 2011 10:11 AM by Dylan Miyake

Nonprofit organizations may have differing missions, taglines, and strategies, but one thing remains constant- the need to attract donors. Donors are the lifeblood of these organizations, providing the funding necessary to sustain operations and accomplish the mission. The donor landscape is constantly evolving and, as a result, organizations must look for new and improved ways to attract donors, while sustaining their relationship with current ones. It is an ongoing challenge to understand the expectations of donors and identify the most effective channels to communicate with them.

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Balanced Scorecard Strategy Map Templates and Examples

Posted June 1, 2011 1:51 PM by Dylan Miyake

In a Harvard Business Review article titled, "Having Trouble with Your Strategy? Then Map It," Drs. Kaplan and Norton say this about strategy maps, "The key to executing your strategy is to have people understand it – including the crucial but perplexing processes by which intangible assets will be converted into tangible outcomes. Strategy maps can help chart this difficult terrain." To help nonprofit and social sector leaders better understand the purpose and value of a Strategy Map, we have compiled and posted a number of real nonprofit, educational, medical, government, and professional examples in our library of white papers. The entire library of white papers are free to download here: Balanced Scorecard Strategy Maps - Free Templates and Examples Each white paper follows a similar framework of describing typical balanced scorecard layouts, the four perspectives (customer, financial, internal processes, and learning and growth), and then briefly overviews the purpose of Balanced Scorecard objectives. After quickly covering the basics, each white paper introduces 5-10 real balanced scorecard strategy maps. Each whitepaper can also be downloaded directly by clicking the links below: Example Strategy Maps for Charity and Nonprofit Organizations Example Strategy Maps for Government, Police and Support Agencies Example Strategy Maps for Medical and Healthcare Organizations Example Strategy Maps for Public, Private, and Charter Schools and Libraries Example Strategy Maps for Societies, Associations, and Unions

We have spent an incredible amount of time compiling and organizing this library and will greatly appreciate any and all feedback! And if you find them useful in guiding your organization's strategy, we'll recommend you check out ClearPoint's balanced scorecard software.

Strategy Review Meetings – Reviewing One Objective

Posted June 1, 2011 10:40 AM by Ted Jackson

I have been asked about strategy review meetings on a more frequent basis. The most recent one was "Tell me about the best strategy review meeting you have seen. Why was it so good?" It got me thinking that there are multiple ways to conduct a strategy review meeting: Review objectives that are off track, review everything, review by theme, and review just one objective. In this blog, I'll focus on reviewing just one objective.

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