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Strategy Maps: 6 Benefits For Your Company
Ready to see strategic success in your company? It’s time to guide your for-profit organization with a clearly defined strategy map.
You’ve probably landed on this page because you know how important strategy is to your company’s success, and you want to make it better. So I should start by saying congratulations!—because implementing the Balanced Scorecard is a fantastic strategic move. You probably have a few questions about using strategy maps in your business, and you’ve come to the right place to get those questions answered.
This short article will summarize any lingering questions you have about strategy mapping and make sure you don’t steer off course while you’re getting started.
What Is Strategy Mapping?
Simply put, a strategy map is a visual tool designed to clearly communicate a strategic plan. To achieve high-level business goals (or objectives), a unified strategy is a must—and strategy mapping is one of the best ways to make this happen.
Why Are Strategy Maps Important?
To answer this, I’ll turn to a quote from Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton, the creators of the Balanced Scorecard:
“Imagine that you are a general taking your troops into foreign territory. Obviously, you would need detailed maps showing the important towns and villages, the surrounding landscape, key structures like bridges and tunnels, and the roads and highways that traverse the region. Without such information, you couldn’t communicate your campaign strategy to your field officers and the rest of your troops.”
Kaplan and Norton go on to say that to not provide a group of people with proper directions to their destination is a mistake—and it’s one that plenty of business owners are making.
It is imperative that every team member in an organization understands not only that they need to do a task, but also why that task is important. Otherwise, they won’t accomplish that task with the overall objective in mind, thus rendering it useless as far as strategy is concerned.
What Are Some Benefits Of A Corporate Balanced Scorecard?
- It provides a simple, clean, visual representation that is easily referred back to. Strategy mapping is visually appealing. It’s far easier to remember a strategy map that has “curb appeal” than something scribbled down in a notepad or typed out in an email. In fact, it can easily be added to your website or displayed in offices around your organization without being an eyesore.
- It unifies all goals into a single strategy. Often, organizations have floating ideas of what the company strategy is, and what it should look like. But if these concepts don’t have a home, and team members don’t know which strategic ideas are important, the strategy becomes muddled and confusing. The BSC changes that. It transcribes a bunch of different “languages” into a strategy that is easy to interpret.
- It gives every employee a clear goal to keep in mind while accomplishing tasks and measures. If members of the leadership team are the only people who know what your strategy is or what your overall organizational objectives are, you’re going to have a very confused team. The BSC helps to get rid of confusing language, and acts as an ‘authority’ on the subject of strategy.
- It helps identify your key goals. When you decide to create a strategy map, you are deciding to arrive upon high-level goals. Maybe this isn’t even something you’ve set out to do, so if you’d like to create a strategy map, this is a great time to start. (This 42-page guide will help you understand the process you should go through to start and finish a Balanced Scorecard.)
- It allows you to better understand which elements of your strategy need work. When all of your high-level goals are laid out in plain sight, it’s much easier to notice what needs improvement.
- It helps you see how your objectives affect the others: The Balanced Scorecard divides important objectives into four perspectives: Financial, Customer, Process, and People. When you look at these perspectives on a strategy map, you can literally see which objective is the most critical, and how the success or failure of each objective changes the whole strategic ecosystem.
Can I Create My Own?
You bet. Strategy mapping is a highly effective, efficient way to roll out an organizational strategy that everyone in your organization can stand behind.
Because we know how important this process is, we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for you. In the ebook below, we’ve provided example Balanced Scorecards for banking, insurance, and three other for-profit industries, as well as an explanation of why those maps have helped their respective companies arrive at their strategic destination. Download it below now!