Communication through Management by Objectives

twocomm “The most important thing about communication is to hear what isn’t being said.” – Peter Drucker

Improving management communication is a continuous and ongoing process across all organizations. The addition of the internet, web-conferencing, administrative assistants, technology such as the BlackBerry or software that uses “cloud” computing; all these tools increase efficiency but may have little or no impact on organizational effectiveness.

The guaranteed result of communicating the wrong information faster is getting the wrong tasks done faster. The framework of effective and functional communication is through management by objectives.

Management by objectives is the allocation of tasks focused toward a single or multiple goals. In Stephen Covey’s book The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, this would be “Beginning with the End in Mind”. Without concrete goals the entire team from the executive level down to the front line can follow, you fall victim to “management by inertia”: management by the way the environment forces you to manage. Of course, allocating the right tasks and making sure it is executed comes down to effective communication.


Consider the two scenarios below:


Company ABC in the Food & Services Industry:

Goal: Not passed down properly. “Inertia” goal is to “work hard and be productive”.

Management Communication:

Manager: “All right Sabrina, what I need you to do today is just keep busy, keeping cooking food so we can fill orders. Go, go, go and if someone else needs help, go help them as well.”

End Result:

Sabrina: “What a rough day today, I pushed myself to the limit cooking all this food for four hours straight and by the end of the day, we had tons of leftovers! My manager told me to just throw it out and to get ready for another day tomorrow. I also fell behind cooking because I was told to help everyone around me; I can’t stand it when my tasks fall through because of others!”

Company XYZ in the Hotels Industry:

Goal: Create a memorable experience for each and every guest.

Management Communication:

Manager: “All right William, let’s do what we always do best and be creative with our guests. Yesterday, you had a customer compliment regarding the time you took during your break to deliver a magazine to her door. She was ecstatic and when she checked out of her suite brought it to my attention! Re-create that experience today, and let me know how it goes.”

End Result:

William: “Had an amazing day today, receiving a customer compliment always brightens up my day. Work is a breeze, I love being creative and coming up with new things I can do to make our guests remember me positively forever. Our hotel does well too, I have been seeing more clients come in and we can barely keep our rooms vacant! That’s why I work here, to use my talents.”


It is clear from these two examples which company performs and makes effective use of their time. From a management and direct engagement perspective, it is straight-forward on which company has stronger engagement leading to stronger performance.

The objective needs to be a concrete goal that one can gain experience from, build on new skills, find new and better ways to execute and develop decision-making processes within the employees. This indirect learning of skills comes from the human intuition to constantly find engaging ways to complete what they are responsible and accountable for.

Management communicating effectively through management by objectives is the core piece that defines whether an organization will succeed or ultimately fail. The separation of what one likes to do and what the situation requires of you is one that depends on what your core objectives are, and how you communicate them.

Jorrian Gelink

Management Architect

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