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Excellent post, Ann. The problem with balanced scorecards is that the more things you attempt to balance, the less any of them matter. Add to that the difficulty in determining which measures are both significant and within a team members control and what you often wind up with is complex system that doesn't have much effect on performance and hence that doesn't help contribute to strategy. Its been more than 15 years since the original book on this came out. At the time a wise client of mine commented "If you need a whole book to explain it, it probably won't work." After fifteen years of trying, was he right?


Great points - and with a direct corollary to rewards: the more things you try to reward, the less any of them matter. Like the comment one line manager made in response to a balanced scorecard incentive plan, "Gee, by the time you tie the incentive award dollars to all these measures, achieving any one of them is only worth a couple of bucks." Or, as one of my favorite phrases goes - to focus on everything is to focus on nothing.

Thanks for weighing in and sharing your thoughts!

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About The Author

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    Compensation consultant Ann Bares is the Managing Partner of Altura Consulting Group. Ann has more than 20 years of experience consulting with organizations in the areas of compensation and performance management.

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