The Essence of Business Management – Part I

We learned from Peter Drucker that the objective of a business is to remain in business.

Today, most students of management would probably agree that the best way to remain in business is to build and improve customer satisfaction.

We lost brand loyalty years ago – organizations are no longer able to rely on status quo.  The gifts that kept giving no longer give. And, customers today typically have multiple choices in respect of suppliers and will not hesitate to switch if, as, and when they become dissatisfied with these.

In prior posts at this blog we have seen that customer satisfaction derives from deliverables (i.e. goods and services) and we were reminded that deliverables are the result of transforming inputs into outputs.

But, inputs do not transform to outputs on their own – a business needs capital, human resources and infrastructure in order to take inputs and transform these into outputs.  Trouble in any one of these asset categories can result in engagement of a downward spiral.

So, what is necessary for sustainability? – the answer is planning.

We generally recognize two types of planning (strategic and tactical). Strategy is broader and of longer term, tactics are narrower and have shorter time frames.  The way we express strategy is via goals and objectives (broader/narrower) whereas operations (i.e. tactics) deal with activities and tasks (less specific/more specific).

Leaders focus on strategy, managers focus on tactics, tasks cluster to activities.

All of this can work very well or not well at all.

Planning with a focus on “doing things the right way” does not work, planning where the focus is on “doing the right things” works to an extent. Planning where the focus is on “doing the right things the right way” works pretty well.

And the point here is?

The point is that we can talk on and on about definitions but the important question is how should organizations go about defining goals and objectives, attend to the completion of tasks and activities whilst ensuring all the time that operations align with strategy?

As you will see in an upcoming post, strategic planning is best done within a framework and the same holds true for operations planning, monitoring and control.

Selection of an appropriate framework for strategic planning and an appropriate framework for operations is not easy. Getting staff to make good use of these frameworks is not easy.

Stay tuned . . . . .

Business Management – Part II – Infrastructure for Building Corporate Strategies.

Business Management – Part III – Infrastructure for Achieving Operational Effectiveness.


Management consultant and process control engineer (MSc EE) with a focus on bridging the gap between operations and strategy in the areas of critical infrastructure protection, major crimes case management, healthcare services delivery, and b2b/b2c/b2d transactions. (C) 2010-2019 Karl Walter Keirstead, P. Eng. All rights reserved. The opinions expressed here are those of the author, and are not connected with Jay-Kell Technologies Inc, Civerex Systems Inc. (Canada), Civerex Systems Inc. (USA) or CvX Productions.
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3 Responses to The Essence of Business Management – Part I

  1. pswp1 says:

    Perhaps you can elaborate on process elimination through simultaneous data capture during the actions of a process….


    • I presume your focus here is the identification of processes that are unnecessary, obsolete, or duplicative, as opposed to replacement of a process with an improved process.

      Where the coupling between processes and Case Goals/Objectives is loose, I believe it is difficult through data capture/analysis to tag processes for elimination.

      I recognize three types of processes 1) those that contribute directly to customer satisfaction 2) processes that contribute indirectly and 3) processes that do not contribute. The latter are candidates for elimination.

      I suppose by tracking the timing of reporting of incremental progress toward achievement of Goals/Objectives and noting time intervals where there is collection of large amounts of data with little incremental progress reported, you could identify candidate processes for elimination.


  2. Hi Karl-Walter, great post. Thanks for picking up on the theme of ACM being an important element of business management. Linking business strategy to execution is the most important knowledge work that a business has. I have covered the need for top-down transparency from business strategy to enable empowerment and resulting bottom-up transparency for execution before:

    Looking forward to your other posts.


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