25 Whys for Tracking Commitments

Simon Sinek makes some major statements in his 2011 book, “Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action”, but he emphasizes the fundamental need of every human, who is striving to succeed, to know the “WHY” of what they are doing. He discusses the idea of inspiring others to do well and provide great service. This is true of everyone; leaders, employees, or contractors within your company.

It should be no surprise that this is also the basis of PE-ER, the tool that helps you unlock the “real” potential of relationship capital. The currency of the 21st century. It tracks how well you keep your commitments or promises.

No, this is not a magic pill nor is it a silver bullet that will make everyone a super commitment maker.  It is a tool that will help you see how well you and others do and provide a process that can help build the disciplines necessary to encourage success.

Will some people game the system? Of course, I am sure we will have some, but the goal is to create an environment that is built on authenticity, integrity, transparency, and trust. My belief is that those who do game it will be exposed readily.

Why should you as a professional or a company track and monitor your commitments on a regular basis? Failing to keep your commitments is often perceived as an indication that you don’t care about your dream client, your employees, your stakeholders, their time, or their desired results. This can lead to static or even declining sales, reduced profits and high turnover of employees.

To answer the question of WHY, here are some to choose from and incorporate into your company culture:

 1.  Accountability is key to performance improvement. – With PE-ER, you can easily set very clear goals between leadership and employees, company and clients. It can help move you from discussion to execution more quickly.

2. Helps you to make fewer, better commitments. Leaders sometimes make promises that do not really help and leave stakeholders uncertain on the issues that do (i.e., can I trust you?).

3. Being specific, supported by tracking your key commitments. Leaders often do not really stop and think about what they are committing. Tracking helps you make promises you can keep and remember them over time. It also can help you sharpen your prioritization skills because you don’t really want to track every commitment, only those that are high value and high results.

4. Help build good habits: Always ask for a commitment from others. Leaders often fail to articulate the commitments they are asking others to make, which slows down follow-through on company commitments. Make requests not assignments. Be crystal clear on the expectations and agreements. Encourage trust and connection.

5. Learn to build bridges. Leaders tend to focus on what they own, yet the biggest barrier to keeping promises as a company is often the lack of coordination between groups. By tracking commitments, you can bridge the gaps in silos within the organization, small or large.

6. Helps you focus on clear, sustainable processes, not heroics. Leaders wear out employees’ goodwill if they rely on heroic efforts rather than investing in processes that make it easy to deliver. PE-ER can help individuals, teams and companies stay focused.

7. Always know what commitments you are inheriting in a new role. Leaders start new roles focused on making their mark, yet they can undermine trust if they don’t ask about prior commitments.

8. Learn to continually check for contradictions. Contradictions create distrust. Yet a company can easily end up speaking out of both sides of its mouth if related departments don’t talk. Cross-cultural discussions and commitments can really go afoul if not monitored.

9. Assemble a library of accomplishments. Can apply to the company or personal careers. Can be documented and demonstrated based on completed commitments if well documented.

10. Establish & demonstrate a Commitment Reliability Index – Today customers, suppliers, and employees want proof of what a company is capable of.  The same is true of employers looking for new employees. The CRI can be a results-based measurement that people can trust if done correctly.

11. Learn from failed commitments. Missed or error based commitments can provide a way for people or companies to evaluate and determine how to correct approaches and deliverables.

12. Learn to refine and ensure commitments of value! The higher the CRI the more valuable each individual commitment will be in the marketplace. Leaders could recognize success if they used PE-ER full time in the business.

13. Use to track or monitor commitments so you can be proactive in times of expansion or contraction making your company more agile & responsive.

14. Reduce the number of REDO’s – Improved completion of commitments results in delivered product or services with reduced redo’s improving the cost factor and erosion.

15. Concisely tracking can help keep your commitments realistic. – so often commitments are done in a casual, matter of fact way with little detail nor concern. This usually leads to erosion of trust, inconsistent delivery and declining utilization.

16. Keeping commitments can be profitable for all. It is relatively simple if people know that there is a high probability that you and your company will keep the commitments you make, the more likely they are to buy from you initially and continue to buy from you when you continue to support that same level of commitment. With PE-ER, you can demonstrate that with physical data, not just words.

17. Help monitor & demonstrate effective processes for ISO and CMS processes. Most quality systems like ISO and others require that certain tasks are completed on a regular basis. PE-ER could provide the confirmation of many of those tasks. It could be possible to generate a series of leaderboards that you could use for documentation at the time of certification.

18. Use as one component of reputation management for personal and company use. Tracking of personal and company commitments allows you do provide the background on anything where people are challenging your story.

19. Use Commitment Tracking as a Recognition program – PE-ER can provide both intrinsic and extrinsic motivation for employees if utilized well. By using the Commitment Reliability Index (CRI) you could create a quarterly discussion vehicle for each employee and manager which could possibly replace the performance appraisal.

20. Use CRI to build trust: When employees feel they are trusted to perform their job functions they have the freedom and confidence to engage creatively and participate in solving problems, which in turn creates a feeling of value, maximizing their contribution. And make sure keep any promises you make to them – broken promises will remove any feelings of trust they may have! Consistency is critical to sustaining trust.

21. Help create positive delegation – You can use the PE-ER tool to set up various commitments amongst your team that can be traced to an effective delegation process within the company.

22. PE-ER could be used to develop a series of Career growth plans for an individual. The PE-ER solution could provide intrinsic motivation to employees to get out of their comfort zones and move into their growth zone.

23. Built into PE-ER is the ability to provide honest, concise feedback! – Each commitment provides the requestor the ability to provide consistent, positive feedback to the maker. This can lead to better products, services, and relationships. Helps build transparency internally and externally within your company.

24. Use PE-ER as a Respect Builder within the company – By utilizing the Leader Boards you can provide a consistent way to help build respect between various groups, teams, clients or vendors.

25. Use PE-ER to encourage Face to Face discussions – Each commitment will require initial discussions and setting of expectations that can be done F2F to ensure clarity, conciseness, and agreement. It can also encourage F2F discussions when renegotiating the commitment, if necessary.

PE-ER is due to be released this summer.  We will be selecting a small group of beta users to give us feedback and ideas for future releases, so signup today for updates at Standardoftrust.com.  If you would like to build the foundation of the PE-ER process and app, please join us. Also, please give us your feedback on the why’s you would consider when using PE-ER.

There is a PE-ER LinkedIn group where you can join the conversation regarding the general topic of monitoring commitments and business value. The title is “PE-ER Social Business Credibility Leadership Group”.

You can also participate in our open Facebook group and give us your input on the platform and processes.  You are encouraged to provide feedback on how you would use the tool or what your expectations would be for the product in your business. Check it out at: PE-ER SaaS