HomeStandard StyleThe balanced scorecard: My view

The balanced scorecard: My view

I have been following events in Zimbabwe with great intrigue and of course I cannot help but feel a little bit despondent in the process.

brand savvy with Stha Magida

Learning and development is good for the individual and the company
Learning and development is good for the individual and the company

Standard Chartered Bank’s recent announcement that visa cards cannot be used outside Zimbabwe except by prior arrangement with the bank is one of the signs that the “real dollar” is slowly fading away in the country. No matter what kind of illusion we may be going through, the bond note will never be equivalent to the United States dollar.

I know my friends in the finance sector can explain this better, but take it from me, the chief layman in the area of finance — the economy will continue to decline. I feel as though Zimbabwe is riding on an aeroplane whose engines have failed and the captain can no longer do anything to save the passengers. All we are doing in that aeroplane is free-falling and waiting to crash. Of course, I am one of the agents of doom who see it this way as government thinks otherwise. I marvelled at the insanity of a law that is being muted that motorists will have to take their vehicles to the Vehicle Inspection Department every year to ensure that they are roadworthy.

Honestly, I am not a psychologist but I know that this is largely insane given the state of roads in Zimbabwe. I personally feel that the roads that I use are unsuitable for my car and constantly pose a great danger to me as I drive on them. In the meantime, while the house is burning, the government focuses on the wrong “enemy”. The aircraft is falling — the pilot is heavily incapacitated fellow countrymen. I could go on and on but let me attend to the business of my day.

Last week, I had the privilege of being invited to a training session, albeit not my first one, on the balanced scorecard way of evaluation. The balanced scorecard is a methodological tool that sets out to help the business manage its plans, its objectives and its future growth. It is a non-financial metric that is incorporated with financial metrics to give a well-rounded view of the performance of an organisation. It entails four components that should be measured, that is the financial position, the internal business processes, learning and growth and customer satisfaction appeal. The training kept me captivated and got me thinking over and over again, but lest I digress, the balanced scorecard is not without its pitfalls and all organisations who take it should take note of these:

The balanced scorecard performance is subjective. It cannot be quantified and will rely mostly on the opinion of management. Depending on the relations of the workers with management, this may in fact stifle morale and cause employees to be despondent. The tool also introduces a new type of recording without necessarily improving quality or financial numbers. It can also be a distraction from achieving the actual goals, with people being bogged down on getting the card “correct”, so to speak. The financial information on the scorecard is limited and does not fully represent the actual financial standing of the organisation. This is a drawback as the financial standing of the company should be the bigger strategy for company growth, taking into account meticulous financial processes in the company. I am of course not favoured with astuteness for numbers, but I do know that a strategy should pay close attention to the numbers in order to promote growth.

I am a stickler for continuous learning and development. As I go through these training sessions, I find that I am totally humbled at the thought of the many things that I do not know. Learning and development is good for the individual and the company. You see, when experience is merged with relevant and current training, the organisation will definitely perform better. Training brings the people up to speed with the current trends obtaining in the environment. Experience on its own may lead the organisation to be stagnant in its thinking and in its processes. While some employers may feel that they become a training ground for their people, I believe that as the person is trained, they become more effective and sometimes when they are no longer relevant in the company they feel it and make a move. In my opinion, this is a win-win situation.

Till next week, keep reading and remain brand savvy.

Stha Magida is happy to share your thoughts and opinions. Please contact her on stha4235@gmail.com

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