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Delivering Hospitality with Management by Objectives : Hotel Common Sense

publication date: Mar 13, 2018
author/source: Dr. John Hogan CHA CHE CMHS
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  Hotel Common SenseTM


  What's the Problem™? looks at  Organizations or Managers who do not care or do not know how to plan effectively to motivate the entire team.   Specific solutions from Peter Drucker are discussed.

Hotel Management

Delivering Hospitality with Management by Objectives

Peter Drucker invented management by objectives in The Practice of Management.1 He emphasized a balance of self control (of performance) and objectives as the best means of reaching success.

Drucker breaks his book into five sections:
  1. Managing a Business
  2. Managing Managers
  3. The Structure of Management
  4. The Management of Worker and Work
  5. What it Means to be a Manager
His conclusion is titled: The Responsibilities of ManagementThe world has evolved incredibly in the last half century and in fact, it has changed dramatically in the last decade. Technology, improved health care with four generations in the same work force and global instant communication has made some of Drucker's points partially dated, but his main principles remain in place. When one looks at the five sections of the book, it is clear that Drucker's main premises are intact.

Chapter 11 is titled Management by Objective and Self Control. The sub-headings are also worth noting:

  • the forces of mis-direction - Workmanship: a necessity and a danger
  • misdirection by the boss
  • what should the objectives be?
  • Management by drives
  • How should managers' objectives be set and by whom?
  • Self-control through measurements
  • the proper use of reports and procedures
  • a philosophy of management
Drucker throughout his teaching, writing and consulting career remained committed to the use of objectives, as long as they were logically used.

What's the ProblemTM?  

Organizations or Managers who do not care or do not know how to plan effectively to motivate the entire team.

For many of us who have worked in large hospitality organizations, working with management by objectives was a fairly regular business activity. In my career as a former manager with corporate Sheraton and Dunfey (now Omni) Hotels, I had the opportunity to work with a range of programs that were created to keep the hospitality and hotel industries current. For more than a dozen years, I consulted with independent hotels and management groups as they worked to keep themselves competitive. For almost eight years, I worked in the corporate office of a very large organization that also used variations of planning and measurement to coordinate staff efforts in strategic planning.

For those of us who have used a variation of these management by objective programs, our individual comfort level or success very likely depended on the way objectives were addressed:

  1. were the objectives understandable and uncomplicated?
  2. did the objectives focus on things that were important?
  3. were the objectives really created by those who actually had to live up to them?
  4. was the process a vibrant and "alive " agreement?

If the above items were compromised or contorted, the activities surrounding them probably became meaningless. The result in that case would be examples of one person trying to "one-up" a fellow manager or actually trying to sabotage others.

If the four items were addressed fairly and measurements were reasonable and not changed without agreement, the process probably helped build teamwork (even across department lines) and helped meet guest and management expectations.

Hospitality management has evolved dramatically in the last generation, and there are ways to address key result areas and objectives that include the necessary balance of high tech and personal interaction. As we move from the depressed levels of occupancy and limited (if any) revenue growth of the past 24 months, there will be a tendency to reset goals and objectives in more positive and aggressive ways. I consider this a positive direction, but encourage anyone reading this to consider some of the following ideas relating to using management by objectives:

  1. Be very clear in the description of the key result area.
  2. Make certain the reason the objective is included is understood.
  3. Reasons objectives might be included are meeting guest needs, paying attention to ownership concerns or priorities, meeting health, safety, security or other government agency requirements, addressing associate objectives or potential ways to increase productivity.
  4. Activities that support the objectives should be identified in the measurements, along with the specific figures, dates or other ways agreed upon as noting progress and successes.
  5. Time periods involved, goals, actual results and variances should be noted.
I have personally used a wide range of forms and have been involved with different types of management by objective programs. 

 Hospitality Tip of the WeekTM
" Until customers of measures and owners of measures get together, what gets measured doesn't necessarily get managed...What gets rewarded gets managed."
James Keebler (author of Keeping Score)

 KEYS TO SUCCESS is the umbrella title for my  programs, hospitality services and columns. This year’s writings focus on a variety of topics for hotel owners, managers and professionals including both my "HOW TO" articles, HOSPITALITY CONVERSATIONS™, Lessons from the Field™, Hotel Common Sense™ and Principles for Success


Feel free to share an idea for a column at john.hogan@hospitalityeducators.com anytime or contact me regarding consulting, customized workshops, speaking engagements … And remember – we all need a regular dose of common sense.

Dr. John Hogan, Minneapolis Marriott, "A Career Hotelier's Insights on Successful Meetings"


John Hogan is a successful hospitality executive, educator, author and consultant and is a frequent keynote speaker and seminar leader at many hospitality industry events. He is Co-Founder of a consortium (www.HospitalityEducators.com) of successful corporate and academic professionals delivering focused and affordable counsel in solving specific challenges facing hospitality today.


www.HospitalityEducators.com is a membership site offering a wide range of information, forms, best practices and ideas designed to help individual hoteliers and hospitality businesses improve their market penetration, deliver service excellence and increase their profitability. Individuals wishing to contribute materials may send them Kathleen@HospitalityEducators.com. Special pricing is in effect for a limited time that also includes a complimentary copy of LESSONS FROM THE FIELD- A COMMON SENSE APPROACH TO EFFECTIVE HOTEL SALES.

Consulting Expertise and Research Interest

  1. Sales Management and training
  2. Turn-around and revenue management
  3. Professional Development for the Organization and the Individual
  4. Customer Service
  5. Making Cultural Diversity Real
  6. Developing Academic Hospitality programs
  7. Medical Lodging Consulting

If you need assistance in any of these areas or simply an independent review or opinion on a hospitality challenge, contact me directly for a prompt response and very personalized attention.


Your Hospitality Resource for the Hotel Owner, Innkeeper, Manager and Hospitality Industry Associations



Dr. John Hogan, CHE CHA CMHS

United States - Phoenix, Phone: 602-799-5375

www.hoganhospitality.com/ Email: info@hoganhospitality.com

1Harper & Row Companies, NY NY, 1954, 1982, 1986, 1993, etc

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