Our Blog

Why Keep Your Strategy A Secret?

Posted June 29, 2012 3:59 PM by Ted Jackson

Is it possible for your organization to achieve its strategy independently? Well, if you think you can go it alone I would like to challenge your thinking – particularly if you operate in the social sector. If you run a homeless shelter, you need other shelters to manage overflow situations. If you run an environmental organization your mission may benefit from cooperation from large corporations. If you run an arts organization you are likely linked with schools to engage young children in the arts. Interdependencies are equally obvious for federal, state and local government organizations. So, if this interdependence is so prevalent then why do most organizations consider their strategy a secret? Who knows, but it is time to change this. I would suggest that if your mission addresses a social challenge then you should establish a strategic partnership with others who can contribute to solutions and will benefit from impact.

Filed Under Collaboration
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Building Collaborative Teams

Posted June 29, 2012 1:04 AM by Brandon Kline

Recently, I read an interesting article in the Harvard Business Review entitled, "Eight Ways to Build Collaborative Teams." The article was based on a study that examined 55 teams across 15 multinational companies, and provides valuable insight into the primary drivers of strong teamwork and high levels of collaboration. Both collaboration and teamwork are vital if your organization plans to run effectively and efficiently. So, with that in mind, I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight the eight key factors in building collaborative teams. As laid out in the article, the eight factors are:

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The Quarterly Balanced Scorecard Meeting

Posted June 27, 2012 11:22 AM by Ted Jackson

Well, it is the last week of June, and that means for most organizations, they are looking at the end of the quarter or even the end of the fiscal year. If you are in a for-profit organization, that means you are pushing for sales, invoices, and collections. In nonprofits, fundraising is extremely busy as is the quest to spend budget (if you are a use it or lose it organization). So, what is so special about this week, and why is it so crazy?

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Release of Teacher Performance Evaluations in New York

Posted June 25, 2012 4:12 PM by Mark Cutler

Transparency is almost always considered an important characteristic of both good government as well as good performance management systems. Therefore, on the surface, the effort in New York State to have all teacher performance evaluations released to the public seems like a worthy reform of the state's public school system.

First, parents can see the performance evaluations of their children's teachers and prospective teachers. Second, teachers will improve their performance for one of two reasons: (1) the knowledge that anyone – their spouses, their neighbors, even their mothers – can see their performance evaluations or (2) parents will be allowed to "shop" for their children's teachers and poor performing ones will have no buyers.

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Happy 20th Birthday Balanced Scorecard

Posted June 25, 2012 9:17 AM by Dylan Miyake

Twenty years ago, in 1992, Harvard Business Review published "Balanced Scorecard -- the Measures That Drive Performance." Seemingly obvious now, the article argued that companies need to measure more than just financial and operational measures to succeed. By looking at a "balanced scorecard" of financial, customer, process, and people measures, organization could more accurately understand the drivers of performance.

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Risk and Incentives

Posted June 14, 2012 4:48 PM by Dylan Miyake

Jamie Dimon's testimony this week about how JP Morgan Chase ended up losing over $2B due to bad decisions compounded by bad decisions got me thinking about risk, risk management, and incentives. And how, at the end of the day, it's the incentives that matter.

Filed Under Leadership, Measurement
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Education and Healthcare

Posted June 7, 2012 12:47 PM by Dylan Miyake

Here at Ascendant, we're measurement geeks. We like things that can be quantified, explained, and analyzed. We like to understand what's driving behavior, and we like to say "what gets measured gets managed." So it's really interesting when we do work in healthcare and education. Because, despite the massive amount of measurement in both of those sectors, there's truly a paucity of management. Why is that?

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Mission-Driven Management Summit 2013 Call For Speakers

Posted June 4, 2012 5:07 PM by Dylan Miyake

It's hard to believe, but we're already planning for the 2013 Mission-Driven Management Summit, just a short nine months away! We're returning to the fabulous National Press Club in Washington, DC on March 5-6, 2013. With that in mind, we're putting out a general "call for speakers" to present at next year's conference.

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Announcing ClearPoint 5.0

Posted June 3, 2012 11:20 AM by Dylan Miyake

Welcome to ClearPoint Strategy 5.0! Listed below are some of the great new features that we've developed based on your feedback and input. If you have any questions about these features and updates, or if you would like a personal tour, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected] or visit our new support website at support.clearpointstrategy.com. As always, we're here to help!

Filed Under Ascendant
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