Introduction to Management By Missions III

February 23, 2018

Section 3: When Objectives Meet Missions

In our last section, we covered a brief history of managing by objectives and how it evolved into managing by missions.  We also learned how having a clear mission is critical to organizational success.  But does that mean we can now ignore objectives? No!

Objectives don’t vanish from the scene; on the contrary, they are still fundamental for business success. However, with the focus shifted to the accomplishment of missions, objectives can stop being an end in and of themselves and rather be put to the service of a greater purpose.  Or more simply, objectives are now a means to an end rather than an end itself.

Managing by objectives is certainly still relevant because it helps employees better understand their responsibilities and how they contribute to organizational expectations.

Managing by missions, goes a step further by seeking to make employees aware of the multifaceted missions their roles have and how those missions align with the organization’s broader purpose.  Essentially it helps ensure employees see the “bigger picture” relative to their specific work.

By combining missions with objectives, companies leverage two prime sources of human motivation: meeting a set challenge AND making a pro-social contribution. This can have tremendous power in motivating people as well as create fundamental change in company culture.

The incremental step of managing by missions is like having a zoom lens: you gain not only more visibility but also more focus.

Carlos Rey | Founder, DPMC

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