Robert Steven Kaplan

Many of us motor through our young adult years trying to rack up one achievement after another—being “successful”—without thinking through what we truly want. At many points along this journey, we seek or get guidance from well-meaning peers, friends, family, and loved ones who advise us what we should desire and what we should avoid. Little of this advice is based on any deep understanding … [ Read more ]

Top Executives Need Feedback—Here’s How They Can Get It

As executives become more senior, they are less likely to receive constructive performance and strategic feedback. They can get it by calling on their junior colleagues.

Robert S. Kaplan, David P. Norton, and Bjarne Rugelsjoen

Why do alliances fail so often? The prime culprit is the way they are traditionally organized and managed. Most alliances are defined by service level agreements (SLAs) that identify what each side commits to delivering rather than what each hopes to gain from the partnership. The SLAs emphasize operational performance metrics rather than strategic objectives, and all too often those metrics become outdated as the … [ Read more ]

Strategy Execution and the Balanced Scorecard

Companies often manage strategy in fits and starts. Though executives may formulate an excellent strategy, it easily fades from memory as the organization tackles day-to-day operations issues, doing what HBS professor Robert S. Kaplan calls “fighting fires.”

A new book by Kaplan and David P. Norton aims to make strategy a continual process. The Execution Premium: Linking Strategy to Operations for Competitive Advantage shows managers how … [ Read more ]

Robert S. Kaplan

Quality and process improvement programs are like teaching people how to fish. Strategy maps and scorecards teach people where to fish.

The Speed-Reading Organization

Ever since Activity-Based Costing turned out not to be as easy as A-B-C, businesses have longed for a simpler costing model. Time-Driven Activity-Based Costing may be the answer.

Building a Strategy-focused Organization

Strategy is very important, but as these co-authors point out, managers’ ability to execute strategy can be more important than the strategy itself. Authors of The Balanced Scoreboard, one of the most influential business books of the last 25 years, Messrs. Kaplan and Norton argue that successful organizations create a performance management program that puts strategy at the center of its management processes. In the … [ Read more ]

Alignment: Using the Balanced Scorecard to Create Corporate Synergies

Most organizations consist of multiple business and support units, each populated by highly trained, experienced executives. But often the efforts of individual units are not coordinated, resulting in conflicts, lost opportunities, and diminished performance.

Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton argue that the responsibility for this critical alignment lies with corporate headquarters. In this book, the authors apply their revolutionary Balanced Scorecard management system to … [ Read more ]

Rethinking Activity-Based Costing

Activity-based accounting looks great in the classroom, but too often fails in the field. In this Harvard Business Review excerpt, HBS professor Robert S. Kaplan along with Steven R. Anderson suggest a way around the obstacles.

Keeping Your Balance With Customers

Using the Balanced Scorecard approach, Robert S. Kaplan, of Harvard Business School, and David P. Norton analyze the four essentials of customer management: customer selection, acquisition, retention, and growth.

Partnering and the Balanced Scorecard

Created in 1992, the Balanced Scorecard has become an effective tool for managing strategy. Now authors Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton propose using it to communicate values and vision to employees and partners. The payoff? Better strategic relationships with partners.

The Strategy-Focused Organization: How Balanced Scorecard Companies Thrive in the New Business Environment

In the latest entry in their series on the Balanced Scorecard (BSC), Kaplan and Norton describe in detail how private- and public-sector organizations have used the BSC to translate strategy into operational terms and align the organization with it. This is much more than a performance-measurement tool – the authors show how the BSC is an essential communications tool.