Breadcrumbs

The annual budgeting process – the "ritual rain dance"

 

Title: The annual budgeting process – the "ritual rain dance"

Companies start early to prepare the next year’s budgets. Normally there is a pre-process during the spring or summer where the foundations are laid. In September or October the real inauguration starts.  At this time of the year you cannot get people in the finance department to attend seminars, arrange business meetings, or discuss business.
 
One time I peeked into a company to find out what they were doing at this time of the year, since they did not have time to do business. Then I discovered the ritual rain dance and it lead me to draw a cartoon of it. Smile

Author : Tor Inge Vasshus

Source: http://blog.corporater.com

Explore our resources to learn more about techniques and the value of effectively communicating and executing your strategy.

Creating arenas for employees to connect to strategy

 

Title: Creating arenas for employees to connect to strategy

There is a lot of unrealized value in your organization, especially employees who are close to customer and customer requirements.  They have a lot of valuable input to product and product strategy.


It is therefore important that each company create some sort of ”strategy connection station” where people can "plug in" and share their views on product, product strategies, processes, etc.


Most companies lack arenas for this type of discussion. It is no wonder that only 5% of employees understand their company’s strategy.

Author : Tor Inge Vasshus

Source: http://blog.corporater.com

Explore our resources to learn more about techniques and the value of effectively communicating and executing your strategy.

Are you managing your budget or is the budget managing you?

 

Title: Are you managing your budget or is the budget managing you?

When was getting established as a young adult, and I purchased my first apartment, I set up a household budget. Each month I thoroughly monitored expenditures and balance. Some months I had extra expenses that were not in the budget, and I just had to overrun the budget and do what was needed.


I was managing the personal budget, and I was not managed by the personal budget. I question to what extent this is also the case for businesses? I see that many strict, budget-focused companies are tied to their budgets and plans. So my question to them is, “Are you managing the budget, or is the budget managing you?”

Author : Tor Inge Vasshus

Source: http://blog.corporater.com

Explore our resources to learn more about techniques and the value of effectively communicating and executing your strategy.

Long Term Goals

 

Title: Long Term Goals

I have often wondered about company goals that are set 10 -15 years in the future.  Does anyone take them seriously when they are set so far in the future?


In my previous career, I worked for an oil company, and we set targets for exploration efficiency (how good we were at discovering oil).  The targets were set on a very long-term basis.  The people who set them could smile and set very ambitious targets, knowing that they would never be held accountable for them.


My advice – set your company’s targets for a timeframe that you can remember (and before you retire).

Author : Tor Inge Vasshus

Source: http://blog.corporater.com

Explore our resources to learn more about techniques and the value of effectively communicating and executing your strategy.

Strategic Destination Statements – a real dream of the future

Title: Strategic Destination Statements – a real dream of the future

Dreams are an important aspect of our lives and keep us moving forward. The same driving forces like dreams can also be applied to business. One concept that I like is the strategic destination statement. In this concept company employees and manager describe the future strategic destination of the business. The destination statement should contain a well defined picture of the company 3-5 years from now.

Strategic destination statements consist of positional descriptive sentences about things in your control and cover areas such as sales, markets, finance, profit, products, processes, people, competence, and systems. The destination statement represents a future description of the organisation if strategy has been implemented successfully. From the destination statements you can start working on the company’s strategy map and use it as a basis for selecting the company’s strategic objectives.

Good luck with your destination statements. I know where my destination is Smile

Author : Tor Inge Vasshus

Source: http://blog.corporater.com

Explore our resources to learn more about techniques and the value of effectively communicating and executing your strategy.

Performance Makeup Studio

 

Title: Performance Makeup Studio

In my country we recently had the national election. What amazes me is that all the political parties are so positive about the results.  Each party claim to be the winner. Quotes like "we improved compared to the last poll", "we improved compared to last election", "we improved in the western part of the country", "we are the winners."  All found something positive to focus on when commenting the result of the election.  

I also find this pattern in business life. Most managers are too ashamed to report poor performance, so they request that the financial department write a story that is not representing the real truth. I once met with a group of oil companies where all of them claimed to be performing better than the rest of the group. To get a better understanding of what was right I had two options:

Option 1:
I needed to update my knowledge about statistics - can all be better than average?

Option 2:
They all visited their company’s "performance makeup studio" and made the performance story unrecognizable.

 

Author : Tor Inge Vasshus

Explore our resources to learn more about techniques and the value of effectively communicating and executing your strategy.

 

BSC Champion Testimonials

 

Title: BSC Champion Testimonials

When people ask me about customer references I always tell them that they should not ask the person that has committed the money for the project. This person is by default obliged to say that the project was a success. I suggest to talk to people who are not that close to the project management – to see if the EPM/ Balanced Scorecard project really was a success. You will most likely hear different stories depending on who you ask.

I attend many conferences worldwide and listen to people present their success cases. I ask myself why there are none presenting cases where they say, “we did not get success” or, “we did it wrong.” I know that conference organizers select only the best cases, but do the presenters have success in all areas of their implementation? In my 20 years of working with performance management I have only heard one case presented where it was said, “we failed….” This is the user case I remember best. These are the types of cases we need to learn from. Why don’t conference organizers put up such cases on the agenda?

Sadly I think that conference organizers will continue the same way as always and hide the true learning cases. Just to prove my hypothesis. I will bet $1 that the next year’s summits and conferences do not contain US bank’s success implementing the Balanced Scorecard. Let’s see if I am wrong.

 

Author : Tor Inge Vasshus

Explore our resources to learn more about techniques and the value of effectively communicating and executing your strategy.

Do you get slim measuring

 

Title: Can you lose weight by weighing yourself?

I recently turned 40, and like many other men my age, I am cultivating a bit of a belly.  Over the past few years, I have weighed myself more than ever.  Sadly, the needle on the scale keeps going up and up.

In the business world, we spend much time on measurement, but measurement alone does not make us perform any better.  Measurement only gives us the awareness so we can diagnose the situation.  In order to perform better, we need to do things differently before.  These are key components to performance management—identifying what to improve, and doing things differently.

By the way, I found what I needed to do differently.  I purchased a Garmin 305 training watch and have started running!

 

Author : Tor Inge Vasshus

Explore our resources to learn more about techniques and the value of effectively communicating and executing your strategy.

More Cartoons

No KPI is Perfect

KPI Door

Cause and Effect

Strategy Implementation

Giving Resources to Execute Strategy

Strategic Communication

 

illustration_4_cause and effect.gif

 

I have seen many strategy maps and I have also seen many people working with strategy maps over the last decade.

In the process of developing maps I have observed people struggle to illustrate all causes and effects that occur in their company. At the end it looks like the ”airline route net” that you find in an in-flight magazine where all routes are crossing each other.

What is the purpose with a Strategy Map? To describe your strategy on a high level, so it can be used as a communication tool for all employees. It is NOT a detailed ’cause and effect’ diagram showing all causes and effects in your company. Engineers in charge of a Strategy Map creation process like to think that the truth of the company lies in defining all the causes and effects (ok, let me clarify it a bit – some engineers...).

I believe there are four main types of disciplines needed in a strategy execution program.

  1. Operations (engineers) – for structuring, planning, and developing sound processes
  2. HR (psychologists)– to introduce the psychological aspect, including motivation, training, and coaching
  3. Communication (journalists) – to communicate in a crisp and clear manner so everyone understands the strategy
  4. Finance (controllers) – as a catalyst to remove old structures such as annual plans and budgets and to serve as the facilitator for the overall process 

If you have these disciplines separately you will end up with the following (I know I am exaggerating a bit to make a point)

  1. Engineers – give you the most complex cause and effect maps. An engineer can make a simulation model to run the company on ”auto pilot”
  2. Psychologists – only talk about motivation, behavior, and psychology that are not connected to the real business
  3. Communication – it all ends with the ”Vision, Mission and Value” brochure
  4. Controllers – read the word again – control – control the business with their old structures of resource allocation and business planning-- and be proud of it

I am a bit worried over the direction the BSC movement is going at the moment. In Kaplan and Norton’s next book ”The Execution Premium” they are focusing much attention on ”a closed loop system”-  a system which I believe is dominated by their engineering and operations research background. I believe it is time to bring the HR and psychologists into the arena to move the BSC movement a step forward.

Anyone wondering what my profession is?  I come from the finance side.

Author : Tor Inge Vasshus

Explore our resources to learn more about techniques and the value of effectively communicating and executing your strategy.

More Cartoons

KPI Door

Strategy Implementation

Giving Resources to Execute Strategy

Strategic Communication

 

KPI Door

 

The selection of key performance indicators (KPIs) is on the minds of many companies these days. I have had consultants from the most prestigious strategy and management companies call me to ask what KPIs they should use for a particular industry. I always answer them, “the KEY performance indicator that you are looking for is dependant on the DOOR that you are going to open.” In this cartoon I have three customer value propositions to illustrate the point. Based on your company’s value proposition and its chosen strategic objectives you should select your KPIs. The KPIs should reflect the numerical expression of whether the objectives are achieved or not.

So my advice to you is: choose the right KPIs according to what door you are trying to open. Good luck my friend!

Author : Tor Inge Vasshus

Explore our resources to learn more about techniques and the value of effectively communicating and executing your strategy.

More Cartoons

Cause and Effect

Strategy Implementation

Giving Resources to Execute Strategy

Strategic Communication

 

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