The Philippine Army is the latest organization inducted into the prestigious Palladium Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame for Executing Strategy, a recognition given on March 14, 2018 at the Palladium Group’s Reimagine Strategy: Palladium Positive Impact Summit in London.

The Philippine Army is the sixth Philippine government institution to receive the global award. Former awardees are the City Government of Iloilo (2009), City Government of San Fernando in Pampanga (2010), City Government of San Fernando in La Union (2015), the Philippine Navy (2016), and the City Government of Balanga in Bataan (2016). This award is given to organizations that demonstrate excellent strategy execution and positive impact through systems inspired by a leading management tool, Drs. Robert Kaplan and David Norton’s Balanced Scorecard.

Seeking reforms

Like many other Philippine government institutions, the Army often operated in an atmosphere of controversy. For an organization responsible for training and equipping ground forces and keeping the peace in the country, the Army was seen as unorganized, untrustworthy, and incapable of doing its mandate.

It was in 2010, however, when leaders in the organization decided to take on the challenge of transforming the Philippine Army. Noticing the positive changes in other institutions after working with the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA), the Army enrolled in ISA’s Performance Governance System (PGS)—a strategy management tool that guides government institutions to formulate, implement, and sustain transformative governance programs—and developed the Army Transformation Roadmap (ATR) 2028.

The Philippine Army broke down its 18-year ATR into three base camps to create a sense of urgency in achieving its vision to be a world-class army that is a source of national pride. In 2016, it aimed to be a well-equipped Army that has established a respectable image in Southeast Asia. By 2022, it expects to be a modern and respected Army in Asia. By 2028, it aims to fully realize its potential as a world-class army.

With a roadmap in place, the Philippine Army set out to work towards its vision. The Army sought industry experts and even its known critics to make up its Multi-Sector Advisory Board (MSAB), a group tasked to review its performance and provide unbiased advice on its initiatives implemented during and beyond the PGS, to help maintain its focus on its vision.

The organization also created the Army Governance and Strategy Management Office (AGSMO) to track performance and make sure the different units’ Balanced Scorecards are aligned to the Army’s overall strategy. Aside from AGSMO, the ATR also depends on the Army Strategy Management Council (ASMC). This comprises executive officers responsible for operationalizing the strategy and are accountable to the strategic objectives.

The Philippine Army did not stop at cascading the strategy to the unit level. The organization reached out to its soldiers and civilian employees and encouraged them to create Personal Balanced Scorecards. These personal scorecards help in creating a sense of accountability to the ATR, as well as motivate everyone to become goal-oriented in both their professional and personal lives. This scorecard system has already been institutionalized in the Army, a notable accomplishment for the organization.

Changing the game

After only a few years since the ATR’s formulation, the Army’s determination to transform itself and regain a positive perception from the people has already reaped results: its net trust rating greatly improved from 52% to 75%; its operational readiness went from 67.6% to 73.0%; and soldiers’ satisfaction ratings averaged 3.9 out of 4, compared to 2.1 in 2010.

Aside from meeting its goals, the Army was also declared one of ISA’s first 12 Islands of Good Governance in 2015.

Continuing the journey

The Philippine Army will not stop with the Palladium Hall of Fame. As the organization sees it, the award is a stepping stone to reaching its vision.

At the Palladium Summit, Philippine Army Commanding General, Lieutenant General Rolando Joselito Bautista, says: “I would want everyone here to remember the main reason why we bade for the Palladium Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame. More than the award is the proof that we have a functioning and world-class strategy. And we promise to continue the journey so that we will be better of service to the Filipino people as a transformed Army they can truly be proud of.”

© Written and published by the Institute for Solidarity in Asia (ISA) on 27 June 2018.

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