About Ascendant


Publication: 2013-07-26


About the Balanced Scorecard -- The Balanced Scorecard is a proven strategy management system that forms the foundation of Ascendant's methodology. The Balanced Scorecard is based on the simple premise that "measurement motivates," and that an organization's measurement system must be aligned with its strategy and management systems.

The principals of Ascendant have been working with the Balanced Scorecard (and its founders, Drs. Kaplan and Norton) since its development in 1992. Over the past 15 years, we've helped guide the evolution of the Balanced Scorecard from a simple measurement system to a complete management framework. The reason we've been working with the Balanced Scorecard for so long is simple: Because it works. We've helped organizations large and small transform themselves from sector laggards to leaders by simply getting their organization aligned to the strategy. "Breakthrough" results -- top 10% results -- are not uncommon in Balanced Scorecard users. Fortunately, the Balanced Scorecard revolution is much larger than just Ascendant (or Kaplan and Norton, for that matter.) The Balanced Scorecard was named one of the "Top Management Ideas of the Past 50 Years" by Harvard Business School, has been deployed in over 50% of the Fortune 500, and is a standard tool of government agencies and nonprofits to manage performance.


Name:Owen Ambur


Name:Ascendant Strategy Management Group


Ascendant is a different kind of consultancy... Ascendant has a unique vision and a unique value proposition.


  • Social Sector Organizations

  • Public Sector Organizations

  • Strategy Management ExpertsAscendant was founded by strategy management experts with a passion for making a difference in the world.

  • Non-ProfitsOur focus is on advancing management of non-profits, associations, and foundations. We believe we can do this by working closely with our clients in implementing strategy management and measurement frameworks as well as creating a collaborative environment to help them work closely with their donors and peers to accomplish their missions. Our founding staff and connected partners all have more than 10 years of experience in implementing the Balanced Scorecard, but they also have extensive experience in working with non-profit organizations. We have helped large government organizations as well as small regional non-profits. We have worked closely with foundations and associations. Our work is typically at the senior executive level and directly with the board of directors.

  • Associations

  • Foundations

  • Ascendant Strategy Management Group LeadersOur Leadership -- Our founders have extensive performance management and nonprofit leadership experience. With a collective 35 years of experience helping leading organizations implement performance management systems and strategy, our leaders are experienced professionals that can help solve a variety of real world problems.

  • Laura DowningLaura Downing is a co-founder and managing partner with Ascendant Strategy Management Group. Before Ascendant, Laura was one of the founders and senior executive leaders of Balanced Scorecard Collaborative together with Drs. Kaplan and Norton. There she was responsible for the professional services business unit. Before founding BSCol, Laura was one of the original consultants in the strategic management services practice of Renaissance Worldwide, Inc., where she developed the Balanced Scorecard service offerings. Laura is a regular speaker and instructor at Balanced Scorecard conferences and has consulted with a variety of organizations to enhance their strategic management processes. Most recently, Laura has been working with PEJE, Catholic Charities, ACCION, US Army, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Office of Personnel Management, Petrobras, Securities and Exchange Commission, Petroleum Canada, Defense Logistics Agency, American College of Cardiology, Massachusetts Special Olympics, and British Telecom. Laura's work at the FBI has been profiled in Harvard Business Review case, and several of her clients have won the Balanced Scorecard Hall of Fame award. She has also consulted with a number of software providers in their development of Balanced Scorecard applications. A native of Boston, MA, Laura graduated from Georgetown University and Harvard Business School.

  • Ted JacksonTed Jackson is a co-founder and managing partner with Ascendant Strategy Management Group. At Ascendant he is an engagement leader supporting many nonprofit and mission-driven organizations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Project Management Institute, American College of Cardiology, Rare, ACCION, CFA Institute, Institute of International Education, Uncommon Schools, and the Atlanta Independent School System. He is also responsible for sales and customer support of ClearPoint Strategy, the Ascendant-recommended strategy management software solution. Prior to Ascendant, Ted was a Vice President at Balanced Scorecard Collaborative and was responsible for global sales and support of the Executive Strategy Manager software. He was also an active consultant and facilitator for 9 years with BSCol. Before that, Ted worked at ICF International, an engineering and environmental consulting firm. At ICF, Ted's team helped the EPA develop the Energy Star program and worked with organizations to reduce their energy consumption. Ted has written three articles about the Balanced Scorecard in the Balanced Scorecard Report publication by Harvard Business School Press. He is an active speaker and has spoken at Balanced Scorecard training and conference events in North America, Europe, and Brazil each year from 2002-2009. Ted graduated from Duke University with a degree in Public Policy focused on the Environment and later received his MBA from Harvard University.

  • Dylan MiyakeDylan Miyake is a founder and managing partner of Ascendant Strategy Management Group. Dylan has worked closely with Drs. Kaplan and Norton, developers of Balanced Scorecard management system, since 1997. At Ascendant, Dylan's primary area of focus is helping social and public sector organizations develop the internal capabilities to manage strategy via implementing a repeatable and efficient meeting and governance process. Prior to founding Ascendant, Dylan was a vice president and executive team member at Balanced Scorecard Collaborative (BSCol). At BSCol, Dylan focused on helping international organizations execute strategy with the Balanced Scorecard. At Ascendant and BSCol, Dylan has worked in the education, social services, environmental, media, and technology sectors, helping organizations implement strategic management systems. A frequent speaker and writer, Dylan has contributed articles to DM Review, Intelligent Enterprise, and Balanced Scorecard Report. He has spoken at leading industry forums, including the Balanced Scorecard Summits in Europe, North America, Europe, and Asia, Hyperion Global User Conference, and the SAS Global User Conference. Dylan earned his BA in government, magna cum laude, from Bowdoin College and his MBA from the Sloan School of Management at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

  • Ascendant PartnersOur Partner Network -- Ascendant partners with leading organizations in the social and public sector consulting, training, and education sector. Our goal with our partner program is to offer a complete set of services to our global customers. If you would like more information about partnering with Ascendant, please contact us today.

  • Dr. Robert S. Kaplan,Harvard Business School -- Ascendant partners with Dr. Kaplan on client engagements and methodology -- Robert S. Kaplan is Baker Foundation Professor at Harvard Business School and co-creator, together with David P. Norton, of the Balanced Scorecard. Kaplan and Norton introduced the Balanced Scorecard method in their 1992 Harvard Business Review article, The Balanced Scorecard: Measures That Drive Performance. Since the original article, he has published, together with Dr. Norton, five best-selling Harvard Business School Press books and numerous Harvard Business Review articles. He has also published extensively in the fields of strategy, cost accounting and management accounting. Prior to Harvard, Kaplan was on the faculty and was Dean of the Tepper School of Business at Carnegie Mellon University.

  • TantumAscendant partners with Tantum on global client engagements -- For more than two decades Tantum Group has worked together with its clients in a successful and sustainable development offering Strategy design and execution competency. Tantum has developed into a global leading professional services company in the field of Strategy Management. Tantum Group is focused in supporting its clients in developing their strategies with sustainable results trough the implementation of a management system customized to every organization's needs. Our joined research and education programs with Robert Kaplan, David Norton and a global network of though leaders, have given us deep knowledge in the field of strategy finding and execution. This has helped us in consulting and coaching services with leading organizations in the world. Tantum Group. We help you to EVOLVE.