What is a Balanced Score Card?


The Balanced Scorecard was introduced as one of the newest management tools. The purpose was to allow organizations to be better able to use their intangible assets. The balanced scorecard is to be used as a supplement to traditional financial measures. It measures performance from three additional perspectives; customers, internal business processes, and learning and growth. The scorecard can help top-level management link the long-term strategy with the short-term actions. Managers using a balanced scorecard do not only have to rely on the short-term financial results as indicators of the company’s progress.
It brings in other indicators that provide information about how the short-term results have affected the long-term strategy.
The scorecard allows managers to introduce four new processes;
1. translating the vision,
2. communicating and linking,
3. business planning, and
4. feedback and learning.

Translating the vision is a means of expressing the mission/vision statements with an integrated set of objectives and measures. This forces the top management to develop operational measures, which requires them to discuss, and eventually agree on, a means of achieving the goals of the company.
Communicating and linking is a process that facilitates the communication of strategies throughout the entire organization. Departmental and individual objectives must be aligned with the strategy through evaluation procedures and incentives. To have goal congruence between the individual employees and the company, scorecard users engage in three activities: communicating and educating, setting goals, and linking rewards to performance measures which are in turn linked to the overall strategy.

Communicating and educating is achieved by maintaining policies that ensure all employees are aware of the strategies of the organization. Also, it is important for the lower level employees to be able to communicate upwards about whether or not the strategies are realistic from the competitive or operational perspective.
Setting goals alone is not sufficient to change employee’s mind-set. One technique to ensure the objectives related to the goals are achieved is the use of a personal scorecard.

It is simply a card that has information that describes corporate objectives, measures, and targets. Employees would carry it with them. This allows employees to better translate these objectives into meaningful tasks that will help reach these goals.
Linking rewards to performance is an important incentive to help an organization achieve its purpose.

What the balanced scorecard adds to the traditional means of linking rewards to financial performance is that it takes a more holistic look at the organization. It ensures that the correct criteria are used as a measure of performance before rewards are given. The idea is that, if you are not using the correct indicators to evaluate performance, there is a high risk in rewarding this behaviour.

Business planning is the third process used by managers with the balanced scorecard. By using the scorecard, businesses will integrate their strategic planning and budgeting processes. This makes sure that the budgets support the strategies of the company. The users of the scorecard pick measures that represent each of the four perspectives, and then set targets for each. Then they will decide which specific actions will help them in reaching those targets. Using short-term milestones to evaluate the progress toward the strategic goal is what results from using the balanced scorecard.

The fourth, and final, process is feedback and learning. With the balanced scorecard in place managers can monitor feedback and relate this to the strategy. The first three processes are very important, but they demand a constant objective. Any deviation from the plan is considered a defect. By adding the feedback and learning process, the scorecard becomes balanced by providing real time information to enhance strategic learning.

The balanced scorecard supplies three essential items to strategic learning.
1. It articulates the vision. The holistic vision is communicated to the entire organization, and the individual efforts are linked to business unit objectives.

2. The scorecard supplies a strategic feedback system. This system views the strategies as hypotheses, and should be able to test, validate, and modify these hypotheses.

3. The balanced scorecard facilitates strategy review. Instead of using periodic meetings to evaluate past performances as the traditional financial review process does, scorecard users review the feedback in a way to gain a better understanding of if the strategy is being reached, how is it being reached, and should the strategy be modified based on new information. This gives the organization a forward focus.

The balanced scorecard facilitates an organization’s plan to align management processes and focuses with the long-term strategy of the company. Without the scorecard, it would be nearly impossible to maintain a consistency of vision and action while attempting to introduce new strategies and processes. “The balanced scorecard provides a framework for managing the implementation of a strategy, while also allowing the strategy to evolve in response to changes in the company’s competitive, market, and technological environments.”

 

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Leadership Styles – When you should use them


Great leaders choose their leadership style like a golfer chooses his or her club, with a calculated analysis of the matter at hand, the end goal, and the best tool for the job.

Taking a team from ordinary to extraordinary means understanding and embracing the difference between management and leadership. According to writer and consultant Peter Drucker, “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.”

Manager and leader are two completely different roles, although we often use the terms interchangeably. Managers are facilitators of their team members’ success. They ensure that their people have everything they need to be productive and successful; that they’re well trained, happy and have minimal roadblocks in their path; that they’re being groomed for the next level; that they are recognized for great performance and coached through their challenges.

Conversely, a leader can be anyone on the team who has a particular talent, who is creatively thinking out of the box and has a great idea, who has experience in a certain aspect of the business or project that can prove useful to the manager and the team. A leader leads based on strengths, not titles.

The best managers consistently allow different leaders to emerge and inspire their teammates (and themselves!) to the next level.

When you’re dealing with ongoing challenges and changes, and you’re in uncharted territory with no means of knowing what comes next, no one can be expected to have all the answers or rule the team with an iron fist based solely on the title on their business card. It just doesn’t work for day-to-day operations. Sometimes a project is a long series of obstacles and opportunities coming at you at high speed, and you need every ounce of your collective hearts and minds and skill sets to get through it.

CHANGE LEADERSHIP STYLES

Not only do the greatest teammates allow different leaders to consistently emerge based on their strengths, but also, they realize that leadership can and should be situational, depending on the needs of the team. Sometimes a teammate needs a warm hug. Sometimes the team needs a visionary, a new style of coaching, someone to lead the way or even, on occasion, a kick in the bike shorts. For that reason, great leaders choose their leadership style like a golfer chooses his or her club, with a calculated analysis of the matter at hand, the end goal and the best tool for the job.

My favourite study on the subject of kinetic leadership is Daniel Goleman’s Leadership That Gets Resultsa landmark 2000 Harvard Business Review study. Goleman and his team completed a three-year study with over 3,000 middle-level managers. Their goal was to uncover specific leadership behaviours and determine their effect on the corporate climate and each leadership style’s effect on bottom-line profitability.

The research discovered that a manager’s leadership style was responsible for 30% of the company’s bottom-line profitability! That’s far too much to ignore. Imagine how much money and effort a company spends on new processes, efficiencies, and cost-cutting methods in an effort to add even one percent to bottom-line profitability, and compare that to simply inspiring managers to be more kinetic with their leadership styles. It’s a no-brainer.

Here are the six leadership styles Goleman uncovered among the managers he studied, as well as a brief analysis of the effects of each style on the corporate climate:

  1. The pacesetting leader expects and model’s excellence and self-direction. If this style were summed up in one phrase, it would be “Do as I do, now.” The pacesetting style works best when the team is already motivated and skilled, and the leader needs quick results. Used extensively, however, this style can overwhelm team members and squelch innovation.
  2. The authoritative leader mobilizes the team toward a common vision and focuses on end goals, leaving the means up to each individual. If this style were summed up in one phrase, it would be “Come with me.” The authoritative style works best when the team needs a new vision because circumstances have changed, or when explicit guidance is not required. Authoritative leaders inspire an entrepreneurial spirit and vibrant enthusiasm for the mission. It is not the best fit when the leader is working with a team of experts who know more than him or her.
  3. The affiliative leader works to create emotional bonds that bring a feeling of bonding and belonging to the organization. If this style were summed up in one phrase, it would be “People come first.” The affiliative style works best in times of stress, when teammates need to heal from a trauma, or when the team needs to rebuild trust. This style should not be used exclusively, because a sole reliance on praise and nurturing can foster mediocre performance and a lack of direction.
  4. The coaching leader develops people for the future. If this style were summed up in one phrase, it would be “Try this.” The coaching style works best when the leader wants to help teammates build lasting personal strengths that make them more successful overall. It is least effective when teammates are defiant and unwilling to change or learn, or if the leader lacks proficiency.
  5. The coercive leader demands immediate compliance. If this style were summed up in one phrase, it would be “Do what I tell you.” The coercive style is most effective in times of crisis, such as in a company turnaround or a takeover attempt, or during an actual emergency like a tornado or a fire. This style can also help control a problem teammate when everything else has failed. However, it should be avoided in almost every other case because it can alienate people and stifle flexibility and inventiveness.
  6. The democratic leader builds consensus through participation. If this style were summed up in one phrase, it would be “What do you think?” The democratic style is most effective when the leader needs the team to buy into or have ownership of a decision, plan, or goal, or if he or she is uncertain and needs fresh ideas from qualified teammates. It is not the best choice in an emergency situation, when time is of the essence for another reason or when teammates are not informed enough to offer sufficient guidance to the leader.

Bottom line? If you take two cups of authoritative leadership, one cup of democratic, coaching, and affiliative leadership, and a dash of pacesetting and coercive leadership “to taste,” and you lead based on need in a way that elevates and inspires your team, you’ve got an excellent recipe for long-term leadership success with every team in your life.

 

 

Potential – What is it?


It’s about personal development. It’s about creating your own character and pushing it to the limit. It’s about pushing yourself so far out of your own and everybody else’s idea of who you are and what you’re capable of, that you no longer believe in limits. It’s about reaching beyond your so-called potential, because your potential is never where you or anyone else expects it to be, not even close.


Realize your potential and settle for nothing less. As Rumi said, “It is your road and yours alone. Others can walk it with you, but nobody can walk it for you!”


The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibilities for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.


Your life purpose is not some chore handed down by decree, nor something you feel is expected of you, but rather it is your own creation, guided by your inner knowing. That is, the complete fulfillment of who you are, your true values and your potential for loving service.


Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.


Louis Groenewald said, “The attribute of love and respect for the dignity and potential of others always finds channels of excellence in relationships.

 

Every person and situation may have different channels of excellence such as talents, interests, desires and values.

 

Passion to seek after channels of excellence in others leads to healing, unity, love, courage, faith, hope and even miracles. The converse is also true.

 

When we lack respect and patience for the dignity and potential of others, then we tend to find negative channels that hurt and corrupt. What channels we seek in others is our choice.

 

Most rules are made by people with no authority who want to control and limit you from reaching your true potential. Ignore them, break their rules, and wave at them as you soar past them to greatness.


Never mind the doubters and the blind, as Rumi said, “You were born with potential. You were born with goodness and trust.

 

You were born with ideals and dreams. You were born with greatness. You were born with wings. You are not meant for crawling, so don’t.

 

You have wings. Learn to use them and fly.

 

The inward journey is about finding your own fullness, something that no one else can take away.

 

As Anne Frank said, “Everyone has inside them a piece of good news. The good news is you don’t know how great you can be! How much you can love! What you can accomplish! And what your potential is!”

Leadership-Action not Position


Regardless of your position in life, at some time, like it or not, you will find yourself in a position of leadership. It may be at work heading up a committee or accepting a new management position, it may be in a church group, in a professional organization or even a social setting. For many of us, it will be in our homes where, as parents, we have a critical leadership role to play.

As the quote says, leadership is not about “position”, or for that matter, title. It is about action. It is about who we are and our actions, our deeds, how we treat others, how we make decisions, how we listen to others, how we accept responsibility for our actions and hold ourselves accountable; this is who we really are.

As leaders, we must realize that every action is a reflection of our character, our integrity and our ability to be noble, caring human beings.

I happen to believe that there is no substitute for responsible leadership that adheres to and honours high moral character and rules of conduct as guiding principles.

In recent years, we’ve seen the sort of train wrecks that can occur when CEO’s and people in leadership positions compromise their integrity.

Manipulating performance figures and earnings to try and improve stock performance, their inept and corrupt form of leadership led to not only to the failure of their companies but also to a pathetic state of mistrust. Their selfishness and greed led to the general distrust of business leaders.

Maybe Warren Bennis said it best in his book, Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge, when he said, “Managers do things right, Leaders do the right thing.” Thus, if leadership is truly action, it is important that it be the “right” action.

In reality, we all have a leadership role to play. In this day an age, each of us must make a conscious choice as to how we are going to lead our lives. How are we going to live? What choices will we make? How will we treat others and will we seek to help those less fortunate than us?

You see, leading a life and just living one are two very different things. This coming week, think of yourself as a leader. Take the time to think through your decisions and actions, and most importantly, do the right thing!!

Changing Careers- Things you should know


Too often in life, we fail. We fail not because we set our goals too high and miss achieving our aspirations. Instead, we fail because we set our dreams too low and we achieve them. If we achieve what we set out to do then how is this considered to be a failure?

Failure occurs when we are not fulfilling our highest aspirations. Here is some insight on what anyone can do while they are in the midst of wanting to change careers…

ADOPT THE INNOCENCE OF A CHILD
We begin our lives as children with lofty goals. For example, a child might decide that they would like to grow up and become an astronaut and travel to the moon. This child doesn’t have the ability to place any limitations on themselves.

They don’t think about what degree they need to possess in order to be an astronaut.

They don’t become worried about all of the details that are necessary to achieve this dream. Instead, the child just knows that they are passionate about space exploration.

When you are in the midst of a career change, think and dream like a child. Let your passions lead you in a direction that is right for you.

ELIMINATE ANY LIMITATIONS
Society, friends and/or family members can put a damper on your hopes and tell you that you are incapable of achieving your highest vision.

You may be told that you are too old, not smart enough, don’t have enough money, don’t have the right education or experience or just simply are the wrong race or sex. The reality of these limitations exists only in the mind. You have the choice to either believe or doubt the limitations.

That’s right, you have a choice. You can choose to be like the great composer, Beethoven, who was once told by his music teacher that as a composer he was hopeless. Beethoven recognized that he would not be stopped by the label that his music teacher placed on him even despite the fact that he was deaf.

GET RID OF THE PEOPLE WHO DON’T SUPPORT YOU
When you are changing careers, you may find that you struggle with your own bouts of self-doubt.

The last thing that you need is for other people to tell you what you should and shouldn’t be doing especially when you recognize that they are not fully supporting your efforts.

With these people (and we all have them in our lives), you will need to advise them that you love and care for them but you would appreciate if they kept their comments about your ambitions to themselves. If you don’t eliminate outer sources of negativity, you will find your passions getting buried deep inside yourself.

RECOGNIZE THAT MONEY IS AS PLENTIFUL AS THE AIR
People sometimes don’t pursue a particular career path because they believe that they won’t make the same or more money than what they are currently earning.

Again, recognize that this belief is a limitation. Work towards eliminating these thought patterns. Instead, realize that with any and every job, you have the potential to make as much money as you desire. That’s right.

You can make as much money as you desire. Even though Henry Ford was poor and uneducated, he dreamed of a horseless carriage and his dream became a reality of what we know today as the automobile. Thus, you must have the mindset that money is just as plentiful as air.

Do you ever find yourself concerned that you might not have enough air? Do you keep track of the number of breaths that you are taking within the day so that you don’t run out? The answer is no and in fact someone would think that you are crazy if you thought that you were going to experience an air shortage. The same is true for money. The mindset of plenty is the first step in creating the wealth that accompanies your passions.

LOOK AHEAD
The best way to squelch your fears is to keep your eyes focused on the dream that you desire.

Stephen Covey says that you should have the end in mind. Ask yourself, what do you ultimately want to become? What do you want people to say about you when you die?

When you stay focused on your dream, it becomes easier to attain since you can then develop the necessary steps that will take you from where you are today to where you want to be. Making a career change then becomes less daunting and more systematic.

Overcoming Fear


Reaching your true potential is the action of facing your fears and moving to a new threshold. You move in empowering ways rather than moving in disempowering directions. Empowering ways create an empowered self. Creating an empowered self, is a very loving thing to do and it takes courage! Self love is an act of self worth. Self worth is the basis of your Self Esteem, or who you consider yourself to be in the world.

So how do you create self esteem? Well here’s a surprise – self esteem is a verb… you take action! You go beyond where you wouldn’t go before… in the face of your fears. The reason we haven’t gone there before is because of our fear! How debilitating can fear be? It can be as debilitating as we let it…

For example when someone expresses fears, it’s tempting to follow them down the rabbit hole and get lost in the useless world of “what ifs”. If we do get someone to “partner with” our fears, we are actually gathering evidence to keep us stuck… then… a little stuck-ness may blossom into a full-blown drama-fest with the help of your fear-partner. Did you ever do that? Get so caught up in a conversation about the “what ifs” that you actually supported each other in something with no basis in reality. People who comfort each other in fear do not serve each other! Most of what we fear never comes true!

It’s important to remember that fear is:

A normal response to personal growth and a necessary learning tool.
Not reality based in most circumstances.
A gateway into meaningful change.
Your best teacher.

Common fears sound like this:
What if I’m not a good at it?
What if it doesn’t go the way I want it to? I can’t do it.
What if they don’t like me?
What if they don’t buy it?
I’m afraid to market my services.
Perhaps I’m not good enough!
What if something goes wrong?
They won’t give me their time.

While these fears are normal, they do not serve us. If they are given credence and we allow them to disempower us, they can put an end to our goals and dreams. So, how do we deal with fear?

We can create a method or structure that will provide us with the “path to our empowered selves.” The path that provides us with a way to move through fear! Try this:

Acknowledge that the fear is real for you with a brief compassionate comment like, “I know it can be scary to go after my dreams… ok, so it’s scary at times. So what!” Whatever that fear is. Acknowledging fear will take the charge out of it.

Denial of fear is simply the same fear, stuffed down into a less noticeable place. (It’s not really less noticeable… we just try to trick ourselves into thinking that it is.) Fear may also be denied by creating disempowering and limiting thoughts (thought addictions), or by using something to cover it up (substance addictions). If this happens, recognize the addictive thoughts and substances as your teacher in, “How I keep fear alive with my denial.”

Simply recognize your fears as limiting beliefs. Then make a distinct choice in the other direction by choosing empowering thoughts. For example, “When I create this, what will it make available for my life, others, the world?” Or, “Why would I want to do this in the first place? Is it my dream/purpose/self expression. If so… What else matters?”
Always keep your eye on the outcome you want to create.

When you look into the past that’s what you create. You create what you focus on. If the past comes up, and you find it sitting out there as anxiety about “what ifs” for the future, then recognize it as illusion, laugh at it and move on. Become the watcher of your fears/thoughts. Let them glide by like a cloud in the sky. You are not your thoughts.

Create measurable specific steps that will incrementally move yourself toward your goals and your desired outcomes. Get creative. Have fun! Make it your personal game!

Get a box full of tools to manage your fears. Consider keeping a journal of your fears. Next to each fear write down the action you’ve taken, despite the fear. Or look in the mirror and tell yourself each day… “This is what I created today. This is who I am, in spite of my fears!”
recognize comfort as your enemy.

Comfort kills possibility. When you are feeling uncomfortable as you move to the next phase of your dream/goal… Rejoice… you are headed in the right direction. Be willing to get uncomfortable!

Get a coach, partner, buddy, or all three, who will always keep you above your fear and support you on the high road, to your highest good, your dreams fulfilled and your greatest self.

That’s some of the many ways to reach your true potential! I hope they find a way into your world, your dreams and your possibilities!

Recruitment Agencies – Good or Bad?


recruitmentDuring the tough times of an economic downturn, when unemployment numbers skyrocket, job seekers need all the support and guidance they can get. Unfortunately, it is a fertile period for bad recruitment agencies to ply their unethical tricks. However, there are some indicators of bad recruiting practice which, when known, will help you spot and avoid unscrupulous recruitment agencies with poor performance standards.

Is There A Fee Involved?

If your recruitment agency attempts to charge you a fee for their recruiting services warning bells should sound immediately. Recruitment agency fees are paid by the company that hires you. You should never sign a contract in which you agree to pay the recruitment agency for something your new employer should be paying for, no matter how great their spiel about a “grand scale can’t fail personalised recruitment campaign” sounds.

Is Your Consultant Less Than Well Informed?

Then why are they a recruitment consultant? Recruitment is a high pressure sector in which competition is fierce. If consultants don’t appear to be knowledgeable about a job sector or specific position they’re not doing their job properly, which can indicate that the recruitment agency has substandard training programmes or just plain poor standards when it comes to performance. If they’re not doing their best, you’re not getting the best opportunity to find employment.

Are They Easy With “Being Liberal with the Truth”?

Then what else will they be easy with? There are many stories on the internet and questions asked in forums about recruitment consultants who say it is fine to lie during an interview or on your CV about your personal or professional history. This basically makes you as unethical as the consultant. Stick to the truth and leave the consultant to come unstuck one day.

Have Your References Become Their New Business Leads?

This can be tricky to find out, but it is a good sign that a recruiter is more interested in generating large volumes of business leads than focussing on getting you into your desired job. Contact your referees after your recruitment agent has called them and ask if they put forth any other business propositions to them. If they did, think about getting a consultant with a little more focus on your requirements.

Are They Embarrassingly Overconfident?

The brash, in-your-face antics of some recruitment consultants can drive you mad. Being overconfident to the point that they guarantee you the job is a sure sign that much of their business approach is hot air. Nobody but the company making the hiring decisions can guarantee you the job. Again, look for consultants who are honest from the start. After all, they are your initial representation to what could be your next employer.

Does Your Consultant Apply Too Much Pressure Toward Certain Jobs?

The role of the recruitment consultant is to find you a position that meets as many of your career aspirations as possible. It is not the role of the recruitment consultant to steer you away from your career interests and toward open positions from which they know they will earn more commission. You should always feel that you share a solid relationship with your consultant and that they are working in your best interest at all times.

Have You Been Asked Too Many Information Gathering Questions?

It is important to be wary of consultants who ask you too many questions which provides them with detailed information about your past employers or companies you have approached regarding employment. This is simply thinly disguised lead generation your consultant will use for other candidates.

Believe it or not, some unscrupulous consultants will ask you to name the companies you have sent your CV to, so that they can avoid sending it again, which they claim may damage your chances. The consultant now has a list of companies currently recruiting, which they can send other candidates to, increasing your competition.

Remember That It’s Not All Bad Out There

If you follow the simple guidelines above and look out for the highlighted indicators of bad practice there is no reason why you won’t find a good and ethical recruitment agency, which in turn will help you to find the employment you seek. As a last point, always remember to ask around about a recruitment agency’s reputation, as they are often built on candidate experiences and word of mouth.