Essay by babi397University, Bachelor'sD-, October 2014

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Boston Lyric Opera Pedagogical Objective

The "Boston Lyric Opera" case, the first documented application of the Balanced Scorecard to an arts organization, was written to illustrate the application of the Balanced Scorecard to a nonprofit organization, especially one whose performance some people believe can not be quantified and measured. The case provides the history of the arts organization and describes its prior strategic planning process. It shows how developing the scorecard, a logical corollary of the BLO's planning process, served to align the diverse interests of management, artistic directors and the board of directors. The BLO was fortunate to have strong leadership by the opera company's general director and deputy director, the active engagement of key board members, and an experienced BSC consultant/facilitator. Thus, in addition to illustrating a nonprofit arts organization's strategy map and BSC, the case provides a road map for a successful development and implementation process in a nonprofit organization.

The case includes the BLO strategy map and asks students to suggest and debate the measures for the scorecard's strategic objectives, particularly its customer perspective. Once the class sees that plausible measures can be created for BLO's strategic objectives, it can discuss the benefits and challenges the BLO faces from use of the scorecard. Students can also discuss the implementation approach used by the BLO, and the management system that the general director is using to imbed the scorecard philosophy into the organization.

Assignment Questions

The Boston Lyric Opera working group has selected eight customer objectives for its three strategic themes (see bulleted items on pages 5-7 of the case, also summarized in the Customer row of Exhibit 5):

Develop loyal and generous supporters

Build reputation on national and international opera scene

Reach the Boston-area community

What measures should the project team select for...