Performing a balance analysis is about identifying imbalances in the operational system. The purpose is to secure that compass needles of areas with system impact coherently point to the wanted position. Thus, a balance analysis identifies possible imbalances in the system, which negatively impact the alignment and the common thread of the strategic direction, i.e. how well the strategy, organisation in its broader sense, business plans and targets on different levels harmonise toward the wanted position.

The result brings possible imbalances to surface, and gives an opportunity to discuss needed actions to attain a better strategic alignment. Hence, the result leads to increased vertical and horizontal connections, traceability throughout the organisation and quicker implementation of the strategic direction. The result also offers leadership teams a foundation for reflection and dialogue. Depending on the level of ambition, it enables leadership teams to concretely address identified imbalances in order to increase the quality of direction, the quality of learning and quality of implementation.

The common thread must cohere with respect to the components in the strategic direction and the leadership assigned to execute it. In addition to clear connections between the wanted position, strategy, operating model and business plans, imbalances are often found in different interpretations of the:

• Assignment and mandate
• Strategic value dimension
• Logic in operational areas
• Impact of digitisation
• Current and wanted positions
• Customers and offering
• Priorities
• Dynamic in the leadership team
• Leadership forums, decision processes and accountability
• Collaborations and dependencies
• Consequences from development and improvement initiatives
• Strategic competencies
• Partners and suppliers

By identifying and addressing such imbalances, the organisation will increase its quality of direction, learning and implementation, and thus improve the conditions for increased trust, effectiveness, and efficiency to reach the wanted position.

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