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Setting the Stage for Commitment Management

PE-ER LogoAlthough the following questions are simple they are also fundamental. They’re valuable questions to ask whether you’re embarking on your first commitment management initiative, or you’ve been at it for many years and need to re-examine your progress to date. These questions can be embraced by solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, medium business and even large businesses.  They should start the conversation but not be limited to only these, your organization is unique and may require slightly different approaches.

Who can benefit from using Commitment Management?

On the surface, the typical response to this question is obvious: employees, clients, suppliers. But go deeper by asking different versions of this question.

  • Who is responsible for Commitment Interaction? leaders, employees, clients, suppliers
  • Are there key groups we need to focus on to maximize commitment usage? Sales, R&D, Operations, Production, Services
  • Do we neglect seeing leaders and upper management as participants?
  • Should we be targeting all employees, focus on specific teams or do we target specific individuals to increase commitment activity?
  • Do we believe that one size fits all and try to use the same strategies and tactics for everyone?

What are we looking to do?

Around the globe there are a plethora of perspectives on leadership, trust, and commitment but how should we build, foster and enhance it? Here are some “what” questions:

  • What do we really want participants to engage with commitments, projects, each other, the organization, clients, etc.?
  • How are we defining commitment and how will we measure progress or lack of progress?
  • If we’ve identified what leaders, managers, and employees can do to increase trust and commitment completion, are they ready, willing, and able to do what is necessary to achieve those results?
  • What structures or triggers can we put in place to remind and encourage employees to empower commitment completion fully in their work?
  • What additional education or training is required?

Where do we expect this to work?

Reflect on these questions, and start to hold conversations based on them. You should realize that trust, commitment completion and communications often go deeper than we often initially think.

  • Where, beyond the physical workplace, do we create commitments and expectations?
  • Where and how do we drive commitment resolution with mobile participants?
  • Are we using the virtual locations within social platforms or gamification platforms to put excitement and authenticity into commitment processing?

When is a good time?

Commitment management is not for good times or bad times but at all times. It should become part of corporate DNA. Ideally, we need to know if there are key times where commitments are more embraced by recipients and we need to know how long we can engage fully with a commitment.

  • Do we pull out all the stops when our organization performance measures are faltering, or do we fully engage when the economy is going gangbusters and we need to retain our key employees & clients?
  • When should a commitment management program begin?
  • When do we measure commitment completion (annually, monthly, daily)?
  • When and how should internal employee commitment data be released to leaders, employees, customers or publicly?

Why do we want to use Commitment Management?

I believe the bigger “why” of commitment management is because it’s the right thing to do.

We are paid to work and that payment is the starting point of an agreement to engage. Commitment management is not a problem to be solved but an experience to be lived, and an obligation on the part of the everyone who interacts with leaders, clients, suppliers or even friends.  Keeping commitments builds trust, influence, and willingness to follow-through. There are many benefits to people when they are fully engaged in commitment management. These range from greater involvement in civic duties and/or parenting to name but two, and also a greater sense of health and well-being. Also, those who live commitment management daily are also more likely to be promoted or sought after for supplying services.

  • Have we fully answered the “why” of commitment management so that everyone can feel compelled to engage?
  • Are we asking employees to generate their own “whys” of commitment management?
  • Do our organizational strategy and objectives offer clarity in knowing why we do what we do?

How do we implement?

So often we forget to really spend time determining how we are going to implement a new program or process, especially when it is a global or enterprise-wide endeavor so be sure to address the “How” questions.

  • How can we creatively communicate this with each other rather than dictate it down through normal channels?
  • How can we provide effective methods for people to ask questions, address concerns and make it transparent?
  • How can we make this process fun for everyone and still be productive?
  • How can we ensure that personal and company values are supporting commitment management?
  • How do we answer the question: “What’s in it for me?”
  • How often do we revisit our questions?

Ponder these questions to keep commitment management alive!

  1. Questions engage our brains and the social thinking within organizations.
  2. Run your commitment management work through the multiple lenses of who, what, where, when, why and how.
  3. Don’t feel that you have to leap to answers; let your brain and all the brains of your organization digest, interpret and adjust, then start to listen & ponder the valuable responses they generate.

Don’t expect your people to enter into this process asking questions and then expect them to go out thinking there are no more questions!

If you would like to discuss more commitment management and the PE-ER Platform please contact us:

Rob Peters – Founder – Standard of Trust                           Ron McIntyre – Owner – TLGCoaching

Email: rob.peters@standardoftrust.com                                               Email: ron@tlgcoach.com

Phone: (847) 698-3614                                                                          Phone: (630) 454-4821