What are the strengths of this framework and where do we need to yet improve it? I have already alluded to a need for more than four dimensions. In fact, I propose eight. To make them easier to remember I named them all by starting with a letter M.
These dimensions are:
- Management, the foundation of business and deserving of individual attention apart from the rest of people management, since if we are unable to manage ourselves effectively, how can we manage the business.
- Manpower, the people who make up the organization.
- Means, the business tools, resources, facilities, in accounting terms the fixed assets of the business.
- Method, the process of coordinating Means and Manpower to serve the next M- Market.
- Market, is the customer and the judge of the firm’s performance, it is also the product that was developed and delivered with the right Method to support the Customer’s desires.
- Money is our sixth M, it is the traditional accounting/financial focus of the business, managing the cash flows, monitoring the financial accountability.
While unfortunately the traditional Balanced Scorecard stops there, I propose we keep going to things that are more important than money and to insure which we actually do earn the money.
- Mitigation of Risk is one such area, since no money in the world will do you any good if you are terminally ill, dead or in jail, if you blow up our lowly planet or kill all that is dear to you. Mitigation of Risk is an area that most resembles voodoo witch doctor approaches in that it is a new discipline that has not had a chance to fully form, but the fact that it is so amorphous and imprecise nevertheless does not mean that we can disregard it in the decision making. But we must not stop there, unless that is your only goal is to survive.
- Mission of the organization is the final broad category that is all inclusive, it focuses on the very purpose of the organizational existence and begs the question:
Why do we exist? It is only few and very blessed organizations that are in the position to wrestle with this tough question because it takes a degree of success and competence in the other seven focus areas before the managers can face the ultimate question of human existence and in a sense become philosophers, lovers of wisdom.
But as Plato argues in his Republic no country is as blessed as one that is governed by the philosopher king. And I might add that the same holds true for an organization that has reached the levels of success that allow such a reign.