Charles Chandler

Presentation: Managing for Meaningful Outcomes

Abstract: In a world composed of organizations and their environments, management has been called “the technology of human accomplishment.” Yet as a technology, management is not always congenial to humans and often fails to ensure organizational accomplishment. In the traditional command-and-control approach, goals are set at the top and flow downward to staff who achieve them. Unfortunately, this encourages an organization to satisfy the hierarchy’s wishes rather than the needs of actors in the environment who could use its offerings.

From the 1960s to the 1980s, scholars searched for a concept of organizational effectiveness that could form the capstone of management technology, but the search was largely given up in the mid-1980s in despair. Recently, however, a new synthesis of organizational theory has provided a concept of effectiveness that can be verified in the field. Since effectiveness is viewed as the highest level of organizational performance, the presence of a verifiable concept of effectiveness means that the goal of every organization becomes the same — to be effective within its environment.

In reimagining management using a verifiable concept of effectiveness, we start from first principles — an organization must exchange benefits with its environment to survive and thrive. Management then becomes a process of converting the supply-side intentions of the organization (embodied in its offerings) into meaningful demand-side outcomes (benefit exchanges involving uptake, adoption or use of the offerings by the environment). Using this new management approach, organizations become flatter, more agile, and externally-facing teams innovate to bring about verifiable effectiveness.

PMI Talent Triangle: Strategic and Business Management

Biography: Dr. Charles Chandler is an author, podcaster, and speaker on topics related to management and organizational effectiveness. He grew up in Dallas, Texas and graduated from the University of Texas at Austin (B.S. and Ph.D.) and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (M.S.), where he studied engineering sciences. Early in his career, he served in the US Peace Corps in Nepal, where (as a District Engineer) he built trail bridges in rural areas. He later worked at the Texas Water Development Board in Austin, where he managed the State’s program in water conservation and drought contingency planning. After obtaining a Ph.D., he founded a management consulting firm in 1982 (Assumption Analysis, Inc.) where he has undertaken assignments for clients related to conceptual design, evaluation, and organizational management. He has worked in 25 countries, where clients that have included The World Bank, USAID, the World Health Organization, the UN Development Program, the Asian Development Bank, and the African Development Bank, among others. Dr. Chandler is a member of the Academy of Management and is a registered professional engineer in Texas. He serves in the Civil Air Patrol in Kerrville, TX, where he is a mission pilot. He also serves on the board of a non-profit organization. Dr. Chandler currently lives in the Texas hill country (west of San Antonio) with his family.