In their book The Balanced Scorecard: Translating Strategy into Action, Kaplan and Norton describe the balanced scorecard as a necessary move away from overreliance on financial measures. According to Kaplan and Norton, because financial measures report on the past, they offer “an adequate story for industrial age companies” but not “information age companies.” In the information age, organizations must “create future value through investment in customers, suppliers, employees, processes, technology, and innovation.”
The Apple case study is especially interesting in retrospect. According to the authors, Apple (then known as Apple Computer) developed a balanced scorecard to expand the focus of senior management beyond metrics such as gross margin, return on equity and market share. A small steering committee, versed in the strategic thinking of executive management, chose to include all four scorecard categories and to develop measurements within each category. For the financial category of the scorecard, Apple emphasized shareholder value; for customer perspective, it emphasized market share and customer satisfaction; for internal processes, it emphasized core competencies; and for the innovation and improvement category, it stressed employee attitudes.