Friday, September 16, 2005

Balanced Scorecard

I got an invitation from a friend of mine(who incidentally is a big crazy guy on books) to go to a book signing event. Robert S Kaplan, who is the inventor of the Balance Scorecard approach was the GOH(guest of Honour). The location: Crossword(Bangalore) When: 14 Sep(18:30). The show started late with very few guys from KPMG and Accenture, who were Management Consultants who were trying to implement his approach for various clients of theirs. A short power failure in the shop to which Prof Kaplan suggested that it was an indication start. Most part of the talk was about why he came to write his books and what is currently in the pipeline. But when it got to the Q&A it turned out to be interesting. He has come to a conslusion that the Corporates in India do not Stratergise, hence we are not using the Balance Scorecard approach effectively. I wonder whether we stratergise or not. The Balance Scorecard approach in a minimalistic way suggests that a balanced approach towards people and finances are to be got. What I see in India is a balanced approach towards people. We are more of a society dependent individuals, hence defnitely we are people oriented. And talking about finances every business is here to do that. So I was wondering if this was a correct statement in an Indian context. One thing which I really felt, was when he said that Stratergy in US based companies are not only for companies, but for individuals too. He mentioned that a Chemical Engg in GE will be in the plastics division for a few years, and if he performs well, he will be shifted to the Finance Dept to Asia region for a few years, then probably he could be shifted to marketing in Europe.... This king of career plan stratergy is missing in India. I guess the reason is people are not loyal to a single company here.. :-)) no offence to guys who jump around, but even for a company to build a career plan stratergy a person has to perform consistently for atleast a period of 4-5 years in a particular team/dept, then movement across the company could be a possibility. I see sense in this approach as getting a board member is easier from within than hire a CEO from outside(Good example of failure in such cases is Pepsi CEO at Apple). Also there was small talk on where Balance Scorecard can fit(Size of company/team). As to what I understood from the whole talk is, Americans(not all) are more process oriented, if the processes are in place, then people would follow it and a good outcome is possible. However we Indians(Asians included too to a certain extent) are people oriented players, we are not too worried about processes, but more worried on people's emotions(literally speaking here). All in all a good session for me, woudld love to goto more of such kind of sessions.

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