Magazine article American Banker

Help Wanted: 'Managers of Achievement'; Bank Puts Premium on Developing Creativity and Efficiency in Management

Magazine article American Banker

Help Wanted: 'Managers of Achievement'; Bank Puts Premium on Developing Creativity and Efficiency in Management

Article excerpt

Alice: "Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

Cat: "That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."

Alice: "I don't must care where---"

Cat: "Then it doesn't matter which way you go".

The message from this exchange in Lewis Carroll's Aice's Adventures in Wonderland is clear: if you don't have an objective, you can't hope to know if you are going in the right direction.

Our coporation's goal is to become the best bank in the Western Pacific region. To achieve this aim, more effective and creative managers are being developed through a system of management based on the setting of objectives.

Effective management is the key to success in the marketplace. Since management can be defined as "achieving results through people," it follows that the success of an organization depends critically on its ability to harness the expertise of the teams that work for it. Our bank's management system is directed at achieving this goal by focusing attention on the setting of objectives and the effective use of periodic reviews and team meetings to monitor progress.

At the start of each year, all managers are required to set out their objectives, being careful to align them with the broad organizational objectives. This discipline ensures that managers take a critical look at what they are doing and why they are doing it. Furthermore, setting objectives that are consistent with those of the organization as a whole directs everyone toward the same end. Clear performance expectations lead to more effective teamwork, so all team members take note of their team objectives and work toward their acheivement.

Output, or results achieved, are always the focus of attention. Inputs of all team members are seen only as a means of achieving objectives, not as an end in themselves. The importance of being "managers of achievement" cannot be emphasized too strongly.

The system of management by objectives is split into five basic components: the driving force of the organization, planning, jobs, accountability and teamwork. These closely related parts combine to facilitate the basic processes of objective setting and review.

The Driving Force

A driving force is a basic summary statement of the direction in which an organization wishes to head. It highlights the area of operations considered the most important when strategic decisions are made and guides major product and market strategies, as well as helping in many day-to-day management decisions. A review of the driving force is necessary from time to time to ensure that the organization is still in tune with market needs.

Stemming from the driving force are broad organizational goals, the achievement of which is critical to the success of the organization. All members of all teams should be aware of and committed to achieving these goals.


Planning is an essential element of any management system, whether it be for a large organization or an individual. It is important that all plans used in an organization are related to each other and are consistent. Aligning the objectives of each manager with those of the organization as a whole should ensure that these requirements are met. Plans can be categorized into strategic, medium-term and annual (or even shorter term) plans.

* Strategic plans focus on the products the organization will produce and the markets in which they will be sold in the longer term. The process therefore involves making an assessment of likely changes in the market in which the organization operates. It is normal for several strategic planning projects to be in progress at any one time.

* Medium-term plans look about three years ahead and are concerned mainly with allocating the organization's resources in such a way that its strategic goals can be reached in the most efficient manner. …

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