Boston Lyric Opera Case Study

1. The BLO working group has selected eight customer objectives for its three strategic themes (see the bulleted items on pages 5-7 of the case and also summarized in the customer row of Ex. 5)

The three strategic themes are:

1) Develop loyal and generous supporters

2) Build a reputation on the national and

international opera scene

3) Reach the Boston-area community

What performance measures should the project team select for each of the eight objectives?

Based on these strategic themes, they should use Balanced Scorecard as they already used which fit the best. With the focus of these 3 objectives, it will help them to be focused on the company’s target that I will mention more detail in the next 3 questions.

With the customer objectives defined for three high-level constituents, the project team could drill down to defining objectives fo the three strategic themes. Enhancing customer relationship largely drove customer objectives for loyal and generous supporters, processes in the operational theme largely drove the production of innovative, quality performances that would be recognized nationally and internationally, and innovation or increase brand awareness and support in the broader Boston-area community. These three strategic themes enabled tight linkages between the internal and customer perspectives on the BLO strategy map.

2. What benefits does the BLO get from developing a balanced scorecard?

BLO project team set the Scorecard down to individual departments within the opera company, including the artistic leaders. The process fostered a unity and integrity of purpose that had not existed before. The board became much more knowledgeable and aware of the three priorities for the opera company, and did not deflect it into marginal initiatives with little chance of payoff along one of the three strategic themes. All the company’s constituents had become aligned and focused on BLO’s strategy.

3. What challenges does the BLO have to overcome for the balanced scorecard to be effective?

The biggest challenge would be the transition for pre-BSC era to post-BSC



The Boston Lyric Opera was the fastest growing opera company in North America during the 1990s. Having successfully completed a move to a larger facility in 1999, the board and general director recognize the need to develop a formal strategic planning and governance process to guide the company into the future. Board members, senior managers, and artistic leaders use the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) as the focus of a multi-month strategic planning process that develops a strategy map and objectives in the four BSC perspectives for three core strategic themes. This case describes the high-level scorecard development, its cascading down to departments and individuals and the directors' interactions--using the Balanced Scorecard--with the artistic leaders and board of directors.

Keywords: Balanced Scorecard; Strategic Planning; Arts; Growth and Development Strategy; Governing and Advisory Boards; Fine Arts Industry; Massachusetts;


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