Current Targets for Management Attention
by GORDON L. MURRAY Partner, Executive Office
Presented before the Beta Gamma Sigma Alumni in New York City, New York—March 1963
IN THE ANNOUNCEMENT of this meeting I saw that the topic is Cur-rent Targets For Management Attention. It is a little difficult recalling
just what this title was intended to cover. You know how it is: You agree to give a talk and the next thing you find out they have a program chairman and a publicity chairman, with deadlines, and they want to know your subject. You don't really have any subject at that point but you have to think of something and I thought of "Current Targets For Management Attention."
It turns out that I really intend to talk about management techniques—
newer techniques for making management decisions and planning and controlling a business. When I speak of new techniques I should qualify the term, because some of these techniques may not be especially new in concept but rather are new in their application to business problems, particularly in their more general application. It makes but common sense that management draw a bead on those areas where more scientific and proven approaches offer particularly attractive possibilities.
PLANNING AND ORGANIZATION
Managing a business is obviously a very complex job. There is a wide spectrum of functions to be performed, and management success
depends on achieving harmony—or optimizing the total result, as the management-science people term it. One reason this is difficult is that the objectives of each function of the business do not necessarily
coincide with the total objective of the enterprise. Obvious examples are a marketing management pressing for a large inventory so they can give immediate delivery to customers; a financial management
striving to minimize cash tied up in inventory; and a production
management wanting a level rate of production for ease in scheduling and for economical production operations even though inventories are required to meet swings in customer demand. This is only one example, but the point is that if you were running an operation solely devoted to marketing, or banking, or production, or engineering, you would act differently than when these functions are an integral part of a whole enterprise.