Scorecards … align or outsource

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I had lunch yesterday with a friend who is a financial executive with one of the largest companies in Denver. We ended up talking about IT scorecards – not shocking since it is one of my very favorite topics. I am a big believer in using scorecards to translate an organization’s strategy and build engagement and alignment with all the employees of the organization. I was interested when he said that he didn’t think their IT organization had any kind of scorecard. When I expressed to him how powerful a scorecard can be in getting employees to understand the strategy and make good decisions, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “Well, does everyone in the organization really need to understand the overall strategy? Don’t you think there are some people who really just want to do their job and nothing else?” My gut reaction was “NO!” but I’ve been giving his questions some thought.

Upon further reflection, I’ve come to what some might consider a drastic conclusion. I agree that there are positions in organizations today that can be performed effectively with a myopic focus on the job itself, positions that do not need broader visibility and connectivity. I just think companies should “outsource” all employees who do not want or need to understand how what they do links to the overall strategy, and what they can change to make the company more successful. Anyone who can make a case that they do not want or need visibility into the overall strategy and its success measures is clearly performing a commodity job. These jobs will likely be done cheaper and better by an external provider.

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