Management by Results (MBR)

All organizations have two dimensions in continuous interplay. The first dimension is connected with task and results. The second dimension is connected with the way people interact with one another and the quality of leadership and followership, in the pursuit of tasks and results.

The task and result dimension is emphatically focused on in business organizations; sometimes in exclusion of the human aspects of management. Likewise, it is possible that some non-business organizations focus overly on people relationships, with secondary attention to the task objectives on hand. Consistently high performing organizations, whether business or non-business, focus both on task and people simultaneously for superior results.

All Organization Development work proactively recognizes the importance of both the task and people dimensions. Management by Results (MBR) is thus one leg of the process of Organization Development and deals with the art and science of setting task goals and objectives. The other, called Relationship Management Program (RMP) enables people to explore and understand the importance of relationships and working with others, in identifying and delivering superior quality results.

Needless to add, we have all read and sometimes experienced the linkage between good leadership and extraordinary performance. RMP and MBR (in that order) are interventions and concepts which when introduced together or in quick succession, can enhance the quality of company leadership talent and drive superior performance. Introduction of RMP helps people realize how different leadership styles can impact the goal setting process and thereby individual, team and organization results.

This introductory note seeks to more specifically describe the MBR process. It can be visualized as the start and end point of an economic and psychological contract between an employee and his company. A process that helps employees identify and define with clarity what the expectations from them are and the desired end results that they need to achieve. The statement of expectations or goals becomes the start point while the actual delivery of results becomes the end point and the analysis of the performance becomes a learning opportunity for future improvement.

Research by Gallup shows clearly that people want to know what is expected of them at work and want to see how they contribute to the larger picture. MBR as a process helps in building engagement around these very aspects. The process of MBR seeks to create an environment of collective endeavor in which individuals receive the opportunity to realize their potential within the overall purpose of the organization.

The first step in the MBR process is to collectively define annual company goals and objectives as a sub-set of long term company strategy. The annual company goals must have sufficient stretch and challenge to out-reach competition and inspire performance. The strategy plan and the annual plan are widely communicated building agreement and excitement. This also helps managers understand the ‘big picture’ thereby facilitating clear stretch goals, measures and indicators through manager-subordinate dialogue.

Apart from goal setting for individual employees, the process builds ownership amongst team members and clarity on what needs to be achieved. Sophisticated tools to develop measures for goals, particularly qualitative goals, can be introduced through an additional study of Managerial Analytics (MA).

The MBR process drives home the understanding of how stretch goal setting can lead to virtuous cycles of role enlargement and thereby self development. Several cycles of sustained goal setting as described can also create synergy that leads to continuous and extraordinary improvement in company performance.

Linkage of Reward and Recognition systems to individual, team and company achievement, builds positive reinforcement for repeating superior performance at each of these levels in the company.

In doing all the above, MBR as a process, achieves the following Objectives:

• Provides as objective as possible an analysis of how well the individual in a team is performing his current responsibilities based on goals set and results achieved

• Promotes a shared understanding of task and relationship among supervisor, subordinate and internal/external customers.

• Aids in determining performance rewards that are commensurate with individual divisional achievements & corporate results.

• Aids in preparing a development plan required to improve an individual’s performance/capabilities and/or to prepare him/her for future responsibilities.

The three modules of RMP, MBR and MA (in that order) is a holistic process developed by Homi Mulla, a practicing organization and behavioral trainer, based on sound motivation theories.

Included is the premise that all people have a desire to discover and realize their full potential in the practice of their profession and vocation. People then experience a sense of achievement and self-worth far beyond formal rewards and recognition. MBR as a process helps people identify what they need to focus on so that they can grow and contribute to the larger organization purpose and goals.

Homi, in his inimitable facilitation style helps participants discover these concepts through a process of experiential learning and mutual critique.