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Why Happiness Matters: Workplace Productivity & Profitability

South Africa’s only happiness-at-work conference to reveal how and why happy employees affect the bottom line

 

15th October, Johannesburg. There is compelling evidence that it pays to invest in your employees’ happiness. Research findings are clear that happier employees are more productive, which improves your bottom line. The happiest employees have 65% more energy, spend twice as much time on task, and intend to stay in their job 4 times longer, according to the iOpener Institute.

But what does “being happy” at work actually mean? Why is happiness considered the antidote to poor performance? Isn’t “happiness” just a fuzzy concept? Should workforce “happiness” be on your agenda in the current tough economic climate? What does making happy employees mean in real terms for business leaders and managers? What are the challenges faced by South African organisations in particular?

South Africa’s only happiness-at-work conference returns to Johannesburg this December for the fourth time, hosted by Business Results Group (BRG) and the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS). This year’s event in Johannesburg will bring participants up to speed with all aspects behind workforce happiness – its theory, its value and its challenges – for managers, teams and individuals. Speakers will include Dr Tara Swart, the British neuroscience expert and business coach, Katie Demain, Africa’s foremost expert in workplace happiness, Buyani Zwane, CEO of Breakthrough Development, Dr Barbara Holtmann, social transformation expert, Jayshree Naidoo, who heads the Standard Bank Incubator, Victor Kgomoeswana, business author, speaker and consultant, and lateral thinking evangelist Nicola Tyler. The event will be MC’d by the infamous Lebo Mashile, poet and performer, who will use storytelling to weave a golden thread of happiness throughout the day.

If your employees find joy and meaning in what they’re doing on a day-to-day basis, there are strong odds that this will benefit your profit margin. To shape a happy workforce, you need to listen to them, appreciate them, support them, and empower them to use their strengths,” says Nicola Tyler, CEO of Business Results Group.

The Happiness-at-Work Conference takes place on 4th December at The Forum, Bryanston, Johannesburg. The event content is aimed at line and divisional managers, team managers, HR directors and HR business partners, as well as any other learning and development specialists. Last year’s “Science of Happiness at Work™ ” conference sold out with executives and managers from the private and public sectors participating. Natasha Rudy, Director at The People Strategies says that last year’s event was “Brilliant. Learnt so much. Lots of tools and ideas to implement in the workplace. Very interesting, engaging and brilliant presenters”

The Happiness at Work Conference is brought to South Africa by Business Results Group and the Gordon Institute of Business Science.
Registrations and Further Information

To register for the event or for press enquiries please contact:
Angela Milburn | Email: rsvp@brg.co.za | Cell: 0833271593 | Phone: 0861247328
You can also visit the event listing at //www.brg.co.za/speakers/happiness-at-work-2015

Speaker Bios

About Dr Tara Swart, CEO, The Unlimited Mind
Tara is the only leadership coach with a PhD in neuroscience and a successful career as medical doctor behind her. This unique combination of experience comes together to create an uncompromising and holistic impact on performance optimisation in businesses in the UK, USA, SE Asia and South Africa. Tara is passionate about disseminating simple, pragmatic neuroscience-based messages that change the way people work and sustainably translate to tangible financial improvement in the business. Her neuroscience consulting programme is designed for senior teams in businesses that need their people to do more with less and keep doing it, better and for longer without burning out.Tara is at the forefront of the application of neuroscience to business. She is a published author of 2 books and over 20 articles in journals of neuroscience and coaching. She speaks globally on the brain in business at international conferences, blue chip corporations and at top business schools including Oxford, Stanford and MIT (where she is Senior Lecturer and runs the Neuroscience for Leadership programme). She is regularly quoted in the press and her latest book, Neuroscience for Leadership was published by Palgrave MacMillan this year.

About Jayshree Naidoo, Standard Bank Incubator
As the former Head of Strategy Management and Innovation at DBSA and ex CEO of DaVinci Design, Jayshree now finds herself heading up the Standard Bank Incubator, a creative thinking space that brings together the two works that she is most passionate about innovation and entrepreneurship. She completed her MBA research on in Innovation and Entrepreneurship Capacity Creation, a thesis that capitalised on her 23 years of experience in the field, and across a variety of industries. She has held positions at Discovery, ABSA, Internet Solutions and was a Board Member of Junior Achievement South Africa and former Chair of SAINe (The Southern African Innovation Network).

About Victor Kgomoeswana, Author, Speaker and Consultant
Victor is well known as an African business expert, having published his local best seller, Africa is Open for Business. His exposure to the continent came as he headed up Business Development for PPC, taking him into corners of the continent and unveiling a world of possibility and hope in a region that had historically received scant attention from the rest of the world. As former executive of Ernst & Young, his book brings to life 50 stories of innovation and opportunity behind the business headlines of the last ten years. From the introduction of M-pesa in Kenya to changing the image of Nigeria as Africa’s fraud capital, and from Rwandan coffee farmers to Ethiopian Airlines, and other remarkable stories in between, Kgomoeswana criss-crosses the continent to highlight the most fascinating business stories and their impact on the future of Africa. He is the producer of Africa Business Report, flighted by 702 and SAFM, and is frequently featured on local and international television and radio stations.

About Dr Barbara Holtmann, Social Transformation Consultant
Having completed a PhD in Social Transformation System methodology, Barbara is hailed as an expert in facilitating complex visionary dialogue processes engaging broad stakeholder groups. Her unique approach to “What it looks like when it’s fixed” is also the title of her book, one in which she shares both her research and a deep understanding for the complexities of building communities, businesses and nations in a rapidly changing world. Barbara serves on the board of Women in Cities International and has presented in Mexico, Montreal, Washington DC, Oslo,
Paris, Canberra and London. In Africa she has worked in Kenya, Zambia, Sierra Leone and India and by choice, the main thrust of her work is now being done in South Africa.

About Katie Demain, Consultant, Change expert and Coach
Katie is widely considered Africa’s foremost practitioner in the Science of Happiness @ WorkTM. She is a Global Associate of the iOpener Institute for People and Performance in the UK and with a career spanning more than 20 years, Katie has lived and worked in 12 different countries. With a background in journalism, Katie spent many years leading a team of journalists throughout Africa to research and write economic reports for The Economist, Newsweek, USA Today and other globally recognized publications. Nine years ago, Katie redefined her career to become one of Europe’s most sought after Executive Coaches, working with a number of the world’s top business schools. Her passion is Workplace Happiness and Performance, and her home is South Africa. Today Katie has an enviable client, one that spans continents, countries and companies. She is fluent in French and Spanish and holds a BA in European Business Management.

About Buyani Zwane, CEO of Breakthrough Development
Buyani is an inspiring leader, motivational speaker and facilitator of meaningful dialogue and development programmes for leaders. He has been involved with HR at Shell, Old Mutual, Eskom, Sasol and Uthingo Management. Today Buyani is CEO of Breakthrough Development and a part-time faculty member of the Gordon Institute of Business Science. He is also the winner of the prestigious Black Management Forum’s Manager of the Year, and is the former President of the Black Management Forum in Mpumalanga. He holds a BSc in Industrial Psychology and a number of qualifications in leadership and management development. Entertaining, engaging, committed and passionate about change, Buyani brings more than 20 years of development experience to his presentations.

About Nicola Tyler, CEO, Business Results Group
South Africa’s local expert in the field of lateral thinking, and Founder of Business Results Group, Nicola has presented at conferences around the world. With more than 25 years in the field of learning and development, her experience spans industries and continents. She has shared the stage and conducted Q&A Sessions with great minds and leaders, including Edward de Bono, Robert Kaplan, Dave Ulrich, Martin Seligman, Tal Ben Shahar, Ricardo Semler, Martin Lindstrom, Richard Koch and Dave Norton. Nicola is a popular and sought after strategic thinker, bringing her experience as a trained lateral thinker to strategic conversations across the continent. As a former lecturer on the GIBS MBA, a certified Master Trainer in de Bono Thinking Systems and Practitioner in Liz Wiseman’s Multipliers programme, Nicola is both a popular facilitator and keynote speaker at events around the world.

About Lebo Mashile, Poet and Performer
Lebo Mashile A poet and a performer who is passionate about change, children,communication and collaboration. Lebo is as comfortable on stage as she is behind a camera, having had a career that has spanned scriptwriting, producing, presenting and stage acting. Lebo’s natural talent has now been discovered by the corporate world, where she brings to life her talent for poetry and arts in the workplace. A masterful storyteller, self-scripted, Lebo’s career has seen her named one of New African’s magazines “Top 100 Africans” and winner of the Art Ambassador award for South African Women in the Arts. She holds a Degree in Law and International Relations, is an active ambassador and campaigner for change and has produced two award winning CD’s, Ribbon of Rhythm and Flying Above the Sky.

7 GREAT Reasons to Balance your Balanced Scorecard

Descartes said “I think therefore I am”.  De Bono says “I do therefore I matter”.   Whether we call it strategy execution or service delivery the fact remains that here in South Africa we rank high on the thinking stakes, and low on the implementation scales.

What is it about execution that ails us so much? Moreover, what can we do about it?  One solution is the introduction of a Balanced Scorecard. Yet a Scorecard of any fashion needs to work for you, and be relevant to your business to achieve the results you desire.  It is more than an academic exercise, but rather needs to provide leaders and managers with a snapshot of the business, one that enables better risk management and improved decision making.

According to Dr. Bob Frost, a Performance Measurement expert, there are 7 GOOD REASONS WHY YOU NEED TO USE A SCORECARD EFFECTIVELY:

  1. Scorecards drive better performance.  According to Frost, “feedback enhances performance”. Being able to review your progress towards a goal, drives people (teams and groups) to higher levels of performance.
  1. Scorecards translate your strategy. Translating the big picture strategy into tangible concreate steps and metrics is key for any strategy implimentaton.  Your scorecard needs to enable people to move, change direction and implement your thinking faster than your competition. 
  1. Scorecards help ensure you have the right measures.  “Effective performance scorecards are, by nature, consciously and purposefully constructed. In building one, you develop a logical structure that helps everyone know what should be measured, what belongs on the scorecard and what does not belong.”  What gets measured gets done, and its critical that you measure the right things as metrics alone are not enough.  WHAT is measured must also be at forefront of your scorecard thinking.
  1. Scorecards encourage balanced performance.  “The proper scorecard design keeps the right balance of operational and strategic factors on your radar screen.”  Balancing business as usual with strategic activity will ensure that you have the right balance of focus for success.  An over emphasis on any one strategy may result in a loss of opportunity somewhere else. Your Scorecard activities need to remain in balance, ensuring that all the key elements of success are considered when planning the detailed activities. 
  1. Scorecards point out what’s missing.  “The scorecard will help you see if any key factors are missing—the gaps stand out.”  If you don’t have a sound model on which to base your thinking, then it’s highly possible that something will get missed out.  Introducing the Balanced Scorecard should go beyond the obvious measures and also seek to highlight the gaps, what’s missing and what needs to be done to fill those gaps.    
  1. Scorecards encourage GREAT management.  Great management is about monitoring performance.  Leadership takes risks, management mitigates them.  For sound corporate management to be in place, a thorough monitoring system needs to be introduced.  The Balanced Scorecard is a way of providing management with the appropriate information to enable them to make decisions and manage risk more effectively.
  1. Scorecards communicate – they tell the story.  A view favoured by investors and analysts, a full scorecard tell a full story.  According to Frost the scorecard enables you to “present a compelling picture of performance that is undistorted by focus on an individual issue.”  This ensures that reports do not allow us to be easily ‘distracted’ by one problem and potentially lose sight of the others that require attention.

Organisations, governments, NGO’s and institutions around the world have successfully introduced the Balanced Scorecard to assist them in delivery results to shareholders and stakeholders, ultimately demonstrating how strategic thinking gets translated into business results.  Developed by Harvard Professor, Robert Kaplan and Dr. Dave Norton, the Balanced Scorecard is widely considered as the definitive model for translating strategy into action. 

Prof. Robert Kaplan will be presenting LIVE in South Africa on 17 September 2015, delivering his world renowned lecture on Strategy Execution.  Hosted by Business Results Group, this one-day event promises to provide you with the tools, strategies and techniques to ensure that you continue to get the most out of YOUR Balanced Scorecard.  Book Now //www.brg.co.za/speakers/prof-robert-kaplan/

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DAVE NORTON IN SEPTEMBER – MAKING STRATEGY A CORE STATE OF THE ART COMPETENCE

create value                                                                  Dave Norton says,  

“Behind every story of shareholder value, there is another story of value creation. That is the real story of strategy execution.”

Having had the privilege today to proof read the delegate materials for the upcoming Dave Norton Progress Conference on the 11th September, I cannot resist offering a little sneak preview of the 100 plus slides he has prepared for his South African audience.

In essence, he says, strategy must be a core competence and his presentation shows you precisely what you need to accomplish to make it a core state of the art competence. You can be assured of rich content with case studies and real life applications relevant to both the Private and Public sectors. His content flows seamlessly, offering delegates a deliberate journey through which they can contextualise their strategy execution efforts. And behind every success he shares with you he also tells the story of how the value was created.

THE STRATEGY MANAGEMENT VACUUM

First and foremost he will show how management systems have STILL not changed to keep up with the way the world has changed.  This is what he calls a Strategy Management Vacuum. He goes on to reveal his research into why strategies continue to fail and offer solutions to overcome this sadly, prevalent reality.

MAKING INTANGIBLE TANGIBLE

I was fascinated by his take on intangible assets and how describing your strategy begins by understanding the value the intangibles offer. He cites Apple, General Electric, IBM and others and will illustrate how Tom Stewart’s thinking in respect of how knowledge that exists in an organisation creates differential advantage. Dave remarks, “A good strategy focusses on the processes and people that have greatest impact on customer satisfaction.”

CLOSING THE STRATEGIC PERFORMANCE GAP WITH CAUSE AND EFFECT LOGIC

Dave has prepared a prolific set of strategy maps, scorecards and themes that have been applied within leading organisations. He asserts that your strategic theme is critical to create change and value.

“Intangible assets are bundled”, he says. “One initiative is not enough to execute strategy. You require a portfolio of several initiatives that are interdependent and cannot be treated on a stand- alone basis.” And again, he provides real management tools to show you how to include specific ways to define your strategic architecture, create robust strategy maps and tailor relevant strategy themes. In particular he provides delegates with specific Balanced Scorecards to show how they consistently fill the strategy management vacuum

LEADERSHIP IMPERATIVES FOR EFFECTIVE STRATEGY EXECUTION

Dave also says, “It is not a simple process for a CEO to mobilize transformation.” But his content goes on to provide tried and tested leadership essentials for certain success. He shows what is required in terms of left and right brain thinking to build your effective strategy management systems and why leadership issues are most often the dominant barrier to effective strategy execution. Just one barrier cited is how politics, in 89% of cases, is the major factor that prohibits the successful execution of strategy. Enter Dave’s right brain change management techniques and priorities, with ways to break down silos, get politics out of the way and cascade the strategy and scorecards to all key executives, business units and departments with appropriate accountability.

What follows on from there are the left brain change management tools that he has observed and that have been shown to achieve desired results.

MAKING STRATEGY EVERYONE’S JOB

Dave illustrates how Hilton Hotels did just this by linking their Balanced Scorecard to education, personal goals, incentive compensation and communication. Looking forward to how he will unpack this for us on the day.

SETTING TARGETS & FUNDING THE STRATEGY

Be prepared for prolific content and techniques to define your measures and targets and determine adequate funding.

SUCCESSFUL HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT ATTRIBUTES

An annual survey of CEO’s Presidents and Chairman showed that Human Capital Development is the most important issue facing senior management. “People driven strategies counter slow markets and economic conditions. The Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame shows that successful strategy execution begins with Human Capital Development”, he says. And then goes on to share the results of Public & Private sector results whilst showing you which are the key Human Capital Value Multipliers. He will also show us how to develop competency profiles for each essential strategic job family and in particular how to determine the gaps between individual and group level.

THE CHERRY ON THE TOP: BUILDING YOUR EFFECTIVE OFFICE OF STRATEGY MANAGEMENT: THE EVOLUTIONARY PROCESS

As he insists that strategy is a core competence and that managing strategy is a whole new ball game very different to managing functions, he will show you why new organisation approaches are needed to facilitate cross-functional alignment. He defines the responsibilities of the office of strategy management and suggests the best practices in terms of conducting your meetings and reviews to keep your strategy on course including frequency and structure.

This blog barely scratches the surface or even does justice to what Dave Norton has in store for delegates on the 11th September, but hopefully provides you with some ideas to provoke and challenge your thinking in respect of your strategy execution efforts.

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Dr David Norton is the co-creator of the Balanced Scorecard and leading global practitioner in applying the Balanced Scorecard in both the Private and Public Sector. Together with Professor Robert Kaplan, he has been acclaimed by Harvard Business Review for his significant contribution to the management profession in the past 75 years. More recently Thinkers 50 have ranked them in their Hall of Fame alongside Tom Peters, Kenichi Ohmae, Warren Bennis, Howard Gardner, Henry Mintzberg, Charles Handy, Philip Kotler and Ikujiro Nonaka for their mammoth contribution to business management and leadership.

On the 11th September 2014 Dr Norton will present a full day seminar in Johannesburg on EXECUTING STRATEGY IN A NEW ECONOMY – Balanced Scorecard Essentials.

WHY STRATEGIES FAIL? DEVISING A STRATEGY EXECUTION SYSTEM FOR CERTAIN SUCCESS

“If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. If you can’t manage it, you can’t improve it.”
Kaplan and Norton (and many others)

According to Professor Robert Kaplan and Dr Dave Norton, companies that effectively execute their strategy evidence an impressive 50-150% increase in value. Those that don’t continue to battle the odds of success.

The People Barrier

The People Barrier

The desktop research around strategy execution speaks volumes:
• Fortune Magazine cites that “….less than 10% of strategies effectively formulated are effectively executed”
• Harvard Business Review states that “…the prize for closing the strategy- performance gap is huge : increasing performance by at least 50% for most organisations”
• Bossidy & Charan in their book “Execution” cite that “…in the majority of cases – 70% – of the problem isn’t bad strategy [thinking] but bad execution [action]”
• Chris Zook in his book “Profit from the Core” states that “….more than 2/3 of companies had targets that exceeded 9% real growth; yet less than 1 company in 10 achieved this level of profitable growth.”
What desktop research is showing us is that companies that fail to forecast and target success, will generally miss the target. In plain English, the same adage holds true “what gets measured gets done”. And yet despite innumerate measures, companies STILL fail to hit their targets and achieve strategic goals and objectives – and the question “why?” has to be hot on the tail of this statement.

REAL RESEARCH TO UNDERSTAND WHY?

Why is successful strategy execution so difficult to achieve?

Kaplan and Norton have dedicated a lifetime of study to understanding the field of strategy and execution. Why do some companies succeed while others fail even when both have seemingly impressive leadership teams? Is it the thinking, or is it the action? Is it really around metrics or is strategy driven by culture and behaviour change?
The Balanced Scorecard didn’t just ‘appear’ in the halls of Harvard. It evolved as one of the best ways to combat the Four Barriers to Strategy Execution. Kaplan and Norton’s research has identified four key themes, or barriers, that appear to interfere with successful strategy implemenation. Their research also supports that a startling 80-90% of companies FAIL when it comes to strategy execution. Here’s what they found:
1. The People Barrier: only 25 % of managers have incentives directly linked to strategy implementation.
2. The Vision Barrier: only 5% of the work-force actually understand the strategy the organisation intends to execute.
3. The Management Barrier: a staggering 85 % of executive teams spend less than an hour per month discussing strategy.
4. The Resource Barrier: alarmingly more than 60% of organisations fail to link their strategy to a live budget.

The ongoing frustration of wanting to achieve something great often outstrips the company’s ability to implement their thinking. The results can be devastating and leaders can quickly lose credibility having promised and communicated one thing, yet fail to implement on the other hand. While the perception of leadership integrity remains challenged, its important to make clear that often the thinking is in tact, but it’s the execution that is poor.

WHAT TO DO?

The temptation for any business is to try to ‘nail’ all four barriers in one go. That alone may be a strategy, but will probably result in continuing poor execution. Perhaps a better strategy is to target one barrier at a time, and over time, with the goal of eliminating them totally. As each barrier becomes a strategy in and of itself, over time, each barrier will be diluted if not eliminated completely. And, when that happens, the strategic thinking has a chance to surface over the traditional mindsets and restrictions that inhibit success.

THE 10-20% EXECEPTION VS THE 80-90% NORM

Those organisations that enjoy an impressive 50 – 150% increase in value have a formal process for strategy execution. Through this lens they have commonly identified what we can today call the “conventional wisdom” of stratgy execution:
1.FINANCIAL: They recognise that financial indicators are lag indicators and only measure the tangible outcomes of the strategy.
2.CUSTOMER: They revere the customer value proposition and define them as their source of value.
3.PROCESSES: They acknowledge that strategic processes create value for customers and shareholders.
4.LEARNING & GROWTH: They know that aligned intangible assets drive improvement in the strategic process.

ENTER, KAPLAN & NORTON’S 6 STAGE CLOSED LOOP MANAGEMENT SYSTEM FOR SUCCESSFUL EXECUTION

This is how Kaplan and Norton deliberately ensure you overcome the Four Barriers to successful strategy execution.
1. DEVELOP THE STRATEGY: Formulate your mission, vision & values – all the fundamentals. Keep in mind Google’s mission – “To organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” And that of Bill Gates: “To put a PC on every person’s desk.’

2. TRANSLATE THE STRATEGY: This means having to create strategy maps and themes with measures and targets, assigning portfolios and providing funding to ensure that you overcome the Vision Barrier.

3. ALIGN THE ORGANISATION: This includes all business units, support units and employees. Ensure you overcome the People Barrier through initiatives that support strategy execution. Never under-estimate the investment required and the power of appropriate change management and communication in strategy execution.

4. PLAN THE OPERATIONS – Devise resource and capacity plans as well as key process improvements that will be required to make sure the Resource Barrier does not hinder the success of your strategy.

BOTTOM LINE : EXECUTE, MONITOR & LEARN

Make sure you properly review your strategy and operations to overcome the management barrier. TEST and review the profitability, devise hypotheses in terms of cause and effect and be alert to emerging strategies, new opportunities and risks. ADAPT where necessary.
This strategy execution system coupled with leaders who affirm their fundamental goals and purpose with quantifiable outcomes, Norton and Kaplan have continuously shown how much value you can derive by implementing strategy maps and balanced scorecards. This is why they have been acknowledged by Harvard Business Review for creating one of the most significant management tools in the past 75 years.
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Dr David Norton is the co-creator of the Balanced Scorecard and leading global practitioner in applying the Balanced Scorecard in both the Private and Public Sector. Together with Professor Robert Kaplan, he has been acclaimed by Harvard Business Review for his significant contribution to the management profession in the past 75 years. More recently Thinkers 50 have ranked them in their Hall of Fame alongside Tom Peters, Kenichi Ohmae, Warren Bennis, Howard Gardner, Henry Mintzberg, Charles Handy, Philip Kotler and Ikujiro Nonaka for their mammoth contribution to business management and leadership.

On the 11th September 2014 Dr Norton will present a full day seminar in Johannesburg on EXECUTING STRATEGY IN A NEW ECONOMY – Balanced Scorecard Essentials.

CUSTOMER CENTRIC METRICS RESCUE RETAILER FROM STRATEGIC ECCENTRICS:

CUSTOMERS TAKE CARE OF THE PROFITS – HOW INTIMATE ARE YOU WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS?

Tom Peters has long argued the case for Customer Centricity. At the 2011 Progress Conference he said; “The magic formula that business has revealed is to treat their customers like guests and their employees like people.” So what is his 2013 take on strategy and leadership? Think of this as “Tom Peter’s Balanced Scorecard”.

Leaders “Do” People

You take care of the people.

The people take care of the service.

The service takes care of the customer.

The customer takes care of the profit.

The profit takes care of the reinvestment.

The reinvestment takes care of the future.

Now, hold that thought.

In The Execution Premium, Dr Dave Norton and Professor Robert Kaplan evidence the magic of Tom’s winning formula. The book cites a case study of how a large retailer, Store 24, turned around their failed strategy by applying what their CEO Bob Gordon, called their Customer Intimacy programme as a key scorecard metric.

The Store 24 strategy, which was called “Ban Boredom”, seemed like a great idea and a sure fire way to differentiate them from their competitors. The original “Ban Boredom” plan was an exciting strategy providing an entertaining atmosphere with fun promotions and frequent themes. This gave store managers permission and discretion to find ways to execute on the strategy. They dressed up in costumes consistent with themes and holidays and activated imaginative promotions with great displays.

NOT EVERYONE WANTS “DISNEY” MAGICAL MOMENTS – CUSTOMER CENTRIC METRICS SAVED THE DAY

Unfortunately this “Disney” approach had an adverse effect. It seemed that while executed with good intentions, the result was failing on the customer intimacy metric.

It was most fortunate that this strategy was predicated on their “customer intimacy” programme. And by getting “up close and personal” with their customers, they were able to quickly abandon the “Ban Boredom” Programme after two years and replace it with a new strategy.

What their “customer intimacy” programme showed was that the customers valued their traditional strengths of good product selection, quick service and a clean environment. They did not value, AT ALL, the experience they were trying to create. Customers were unhappy with the inattentive store employees dressed in costumes and distracted by the ever-changing displays in store.

METRICS ARE KING

You get what you measure! It’s an old adage and one that could not have been truer for Store 24. Using the Balanced Scorecard approach, the retailer was able to assess customer satisfaction quickly. Not only were they able to change direction quickly, they were also able to identify interesting elements for a comeback strategy.

COMEBACK STRATEGY – “CAUSE YOU JUST CAN’T WAIT”

Their comeback strategy, called “Cause, you just can’t wait”, was wholly based on customer feedback. They realised that flawless execution was essential and further research showed the negative relationship between low skilled employees and operating profit. They were able to show consistently that strategy implementation was only effective when done at stores with high skill crews. They realised, too, that the ability for them to implement their come-back strategy relied heavily on employee satisfaction.

BACK TO TOM!

Which brings us right back to Tom Peters, “Treat your customers like guests and your employees like people. You take care of the people. The people take care of the service. The service takes care of the customer. The customer takes care of the profit.” Most readers will acknowledge that this is very much the Disney leadership model the difference, however, is that it doesn’t mean that every customer wants a “Disney moment”. What does ring true is that if you get the people right, the service will follow. Get that right, and the profits are a natural result.

Having acknowledged the metrics, Store 24 brought back their traditional strengths as a key driver of their customer value proposition and replaced the “fun, entertaining experience” strategy with speed and efficiency as their new value proposition.

BALANCED SCORECARD WINS THE DAY

Had Store 24 not had a Balanced Scorecard in place, they may well have pursued their quirky “Ban Boredom” idea for many more years, with inexperienced and dissatisfied store crews having “fun” at the expense of their customer and profits. Scorecard metrics not only determine how organisations measure up on people, products, processes and resultant profits; they also provide a direct link to customer satisfaction.

Dave Norton urges companies to use an “employee-customer-profit value chain model” as their main management system.

Are you measuring the right things? Do you scrutinise the “employee-customer-profit value” cause and effect relationships? If you did, what might that value chain reveal and offer you in terms of a new strategic opportunity with a high execution premium?

_______________________________________________________________________________________

Dr David Norton is the co-creator of the Balanced Scorecard and leading global practitioner in applying the Balanced Scorecard in both the Private and Public Sector. Together with Professor Robert Kaplan, he has been acclaimed by Harvard Business Review for his significant contribution to the management profession in the past 75 years. More recently Thinkers 50 have ranked them in their Hall of Fame alongside Tom Peters, Kenichi Ohmae, Warren Bennis, Howard Gardner, Henry Mintzberg, Charles Handy, Philip Kotler and Ikujiro Nonaka for their mammoth contribution to business management and leadership.

On the 11th September 2014 Dr Norton will present a full day seminar in Johannesburg on EXECUTING STRATEGY IN A NEW ECONOMY – Balanced Scorecard Essentials.