The Institute Way

Book Review – This month saw the publication of the much anticipated book ‘The Institute Way’. The book promises to ‘Simplify Strategic Planning and Management with the Balanced Scorecard’. It certainly lives up to its promise. It is no secret that Intrafocus is a big fan of the Balanced Scorecard, indeed our premium product, QuickScore, was produced with the Balanced Scorecard in mind. We are therefore very pleased to see a publication on this subject that is both accessible (a good easy read) and informative (full of real-life examples).

It is interesting to note that the authors acknowledge in the first chapter, entitled ‘It’s Complicated’ that this whole subject is sometimes considered so complicated it is occasionally avoided altogether. However, the book goes on to say that in reality, the subject is not complicated all. It is not easy, and no strategic planning activity is, but it is not complicated (provided you have a strategic planning process in place).

If you are familiar with the work of the Balanced Scorecard Institute then the book will provide a much needed reference source to the Institute’s methodology, the Nine Steps to Success. The methodology, created by the Institute co-founder and CEO, Howard Rohm, provides a structured framework of activities to help medium to large organisations and companies through the process of creating, implementing and managing a strategic plan.

We asked Howard Rohm about the book, he said:

“The Balanced Scorecard, when created as an integrated strategic planning and management system, is a powerful framework for helping any organization move to higher performance. The strategic thinking process that is used to build and sustain the system, and the employees who are empowered to own the system, create a unique culture of change to transform and align an organization of any size and operating in any sector to be more competitive and to execute strategy more efficiently and effectively. It is a very powerful change management tool.”

If you have not come across the Balanced Scorecard Institute or have only a superficial understanding of the Balanced Scorecard approach then don’t worry. The Institute Way provides an excellent introduction in its initial chapter and follows up with detailed instructions that are clearly born out of many, many years of practice and involvement in hundreds of live situations. The book is sprinkled with anecdotes that bring the subject alive.

The Balanced Scorecard Institute has had a long history working with the George Washington University. Indeed, their courses are under-pinned by certification from the University itself. Jim Robinson, Director, George Washington University Centre for Excellence in Public Leadership wrote the forward for the book, in it he states:

“The Institute way is far more than another “how to” manual. The reader must be prepared to go on a journey of discovery which will provide them surprising insights about organisations, about our heart-brain connections, and, most importantly, about ourselves”.

We thoroughly recommend this book as a good read that will almost certainly end up as a well-thumbed reference.

The Institute Way is co-authored by Howard Rohm – Co-founder and CEO of the Balanced Scorecard Institute, David Wisely – Vice President of Education and Technology, Gail Stout Perry – Vice President of Strategic Solutions and Dan Montgomery – Vice President of Professional Services. Visit the Balanced Scorecard Institute website for more information and for the authors biographies.

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