GM2: Setting Objectives and Measuring Performance

Michael Dearing

Part Two of our series on General Management

This is one of the "a la carte" General Management class options at Harrison Metal. It's a single session of 90 minutes or so. We charge a small tuition to ensure you are committed ($20.00).

No matter your job, setting goals for yourself and your team will play a large role in your success as a general manager. After you set them, it's also your responsibility to look at the body of work and assess both what was done and how it got done. If you do this part of the job well, you will leave a meaningful, positive impact on your teams and all the other people they work with over the years. If you do it poorly, chaos follows. 

In this open, online class we will explore the following questions:

  • How can you set objectives without lots of overhead and process?
  • How do you check in on progress to see how things are going along the way?
  • How do you provide feedback to colleagues so that they feel excited to raise their game and help you raise yours?

You won't be surprised to hear that I think history has a lot to teach us in this regard. Let's dive into the fantastic story of Sam Slater and apply what we learn from Andy Grove to make sense of Slater's contributions to American business history. And remember: the best and the worst of us are woven together tightly. Slater's creative energy kick started a revolution in production, distribution, and administration in American business. He also sourced his raw material (cotton) from slave plantations of the South where one group of human beings (white American planters) owned another group of human beings (enslaved Black Americans).

Prepare for class by reading:

1. Slater chapter from A Casebook in American Business History, "Samuel Slater and the American Textile Industry," pages 209 - 212, 215, 218 - 219, 225 - 227. Link.

2. Chapters 6 and 13 of Andy Grove's High Output Management (buy this for yourself). If you haven't already taken "Defining General Management," please also read Grove, introduction and chapters 1, 2, 3.