Strategy maps: great tool for improving nonprofit performance

I had such a great time Tuesday visiting with 15-20 nonprofit executive directors on the topic of strategy maps (Kaplan and Norton), under the auspices of the Nonprofit Resource Center.  I co-presented with Dr. Mary Hargrave of River Oak Center for Children, to whom I introduced the idea of strategy maps in June 2008.

Don’t you love it when someone takes an idea you give them and absolutely knocks it out of the park?  Mary did.  As Mary explained to the group, a clinical organization like ROCC, especially one that is so focused on evidence-based practices (and JCAHO accredited, no less), is already focused on data.  But that doesn’t mean that the data helps the organization know if it’s achieving the right level of performance on the factors that have greatest impact on its ability to achieve its mission and vision.  In other words, measures that help the organization know it’s doing the right things right.

Mary took the strategy map I drafted to her management team.  They hashed it out until they made it their own.  And now, month-by-month, the organization can pinpoint — down to the team level — where they are and aren’t making their mission critical targets.

While I introduced strategy maps to Mary with the idea of increasing clarity among the Board, she has used it to improve operational execution.

All of that sounds very “business-y”, but it boils down to ROCC being able to successfully provide solutions for overburdened families, with financial strength “into perpetuity.”

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  1. Pingback: Quickie post: improving performance with dashboard metrics « Betsy Stone’s The Philanthrophile