Strategy execution is a big idea.
Those who get it right typically achieve results that significantly greater in value than the amount of effort required to align their organization around its strategy. But it takes dedicated leadership to make it happen. Having a good strategy is not enough; leaders must be willing to trust their strategy and execute it. Those who do so gain advantages in the short term based on early-stage process improvements and by aligning and motivating the workforce. These benefits are easily within reach for most organizations and are characterized as low-hanging fruit. Long-term benefits come from embedding a strategy management system that can be used to orchestrate large-scale transformations. Long-term commitment to strategy execution enables organizational adaptability and resilience as well. This big idea is captured in the Tale of Four Cities (attached below). Take a walk through these Hall of Fame municipalities and see how they knit together the four perspectives of the Balanced Scorecard to achieve performance breakthroughs.
Christchurch, New Zealand
“For a municipal authority, value is about more than adhering to budget, it is also about delivering quality services”. (Palladium Executing Strategy Hall of Fame, 2011, p.17)
Executives in Christchurch took this to heart in re-working their performance management techniques, as they needed a method which would provide a more holistic view of their city’s performance. Thus, we helped them to create a Balanced Scorecard which allows them to manage the relationship between budgetary requirements, business strategy and reporting, and resource allocation. With this Balanced Scorecard, Christchurch has seen a 26% increase in operational efficiency and a 19% increase in employee engagement. The city also boasts an A+ rating from Standard & Poor’s, and realized an ambitious goal of theirs: to co-host the Rugby World Cup – the third largest sporting event in the world. This goal came to fruition in 2011, and the event generated almost $300 million in total ticket sales across multiple New Zealand cities.
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- Tamarac citizens are more satisfied with city services (+23 points over national average).
- We have weathered the economic recession and increased our bond rating to AA-.
In the City of Tamarac, we’ve developed a strategic planning process and a system of checks and balances that ensures the direction we move in reflects the voice of the people we serve. We clearly articulate our priorities and use the balanced scorecard process to link strategy to our daily operations. We carry this strategic thinking through our daily operations and it’s working: Tamarac residents are significantly more satisfied with City services than those across the country: 23 percentage points above the national average. And, we not only successfully weathered the economic downturn, we were able to increase our bond rating to AA-.
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Charlotte, North Carolina
The City of Charlotte is recognized as the first and longest-standing (since 1996) government user of the Balanced Scorecard model in the world. Charlotte offers high quality services at low cost to citizens and stakeholders and all five of its focus areas showed improvement in the most recent period of evaluation.
The Office of Strategy & Budget is responsible for administering the City’s strategic planning process, which includes developing Charlotte’s Corporate Scorecard. The City of Charlotte’s performance management and strategic planning approach consists of:
- Identifying organizational strategy based on City Council Focus Areas,
- Translating and communicating the strategy through the Corporate Scorecard (developing corporate objectives and measures), and
- Implementing the strategy as described by the Strategic Focus Area plans and Department and Support Unit business plans – Strategic Operating Plan (SOP).
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