Organizations need a clear high level business strategy to move their businesses forward. However, while an enterprise-level Balanced Scorecard enables the communication of an overall organizational strategy, as explained in my previous post, it is not sufficient to ensure the strategy is executed well. A strategy must be personalized to the individuals working day to day to carry it out.
Human capital is key to strategic execution. Your organization could have a clear vision and goal, and even a perfect strategy to go with it. But if you don’t have the right people who understand the strategy at a personal level and are motivated to implement it, success is difficult to come by. For instance, take the Fellowship of the Ring. The nine companions had a clear overarching goal: defeat Sauron and the growing evil in Middle Earth. However, the members had different conceptions of how to achieve this goal, causing some to part ways and even perish. Only once each understood their purpose and role were they able to resist the Ring’s power and accomplish the task at hand.
While there should be an executive strategy illustrating the holistic plan of the organization, each individual department and employee should also have their own strategies that contribute to the holistic strategy. The goal is to have a structured idea of what should be completed by each section in order to accomplish their goals. This can be accomplished by cascading the strategy down to the lower departments and eventually to each individual employee using an enterprise scorecard in conjunction with a personal balanced scorecard for each individual employee, a tactic that is often overlooked.
By keeping every employee in the organization accountable for their role, two things take place. First, each employee successfully executes their role due to greater understanding and clear, personalized goals. Second, the employees become empowered to exceed their roles to innovate and grow the strategy and organization.
Individuals become empowered to see the unique value they add to the strategy when the performance management process gives each employee a personal balanced scorecard. This allows individual employees to visually see their contributions to strategy and illustrates their personal value and investment. This in turn ensures a higher standard for business results and creates a vested interest to personally innovate and grow to further the organization.
Organizations tend to view strategy from a high level. Indeed, a clear enterprise-level strategy is very important. However, strategies are only successful when individuals are empowered to contribute to strategic goals. Any successful strategy must be personalized and conveyed to the individual to ensure successful strategic execution.