Making Bigger Promises

All organizations want results.
Non-profit and for-profit organizations may define results differently, but any organization that can not deliver results of value to its customer will not long survive.

The key to producing results is taking effective action.
It’s not about just being busy, but whether those actions move you forward towards something of value.

The primary driver of action is commitment.
There is always more to do than time to do it.  Commitment is a key factor in choosing which actions to follow through on and why.

But how does one actually generate the requisite commitment in the first place?
Commitment comes from effective conversations that are directly tied to what you or your organization care about.


However, there is a pervasive culture where we avoid making any commitments that we are not confident we can successfully deliver upon.

Where managing one’s reputation is important, we can choose the easy path of  not committing, because it is easier and leaves us the greatest flexibility, or choosing the harder path of making a commitment.  It is harder because then we become accountable to our customers and we have to deliver lest we risk the negative consequences of letting others down.

Unfortunately, what happens most often is that from our fear of making a commitment that we cannot guarantee, we avoid making the commitment altogether.  We rationalize this as protecting the value of our word.  However, more often than not we are actually choosing to not commit as part of a strategy for avoiding the uncomfortable zone of having to produce in an environment where we lack certainty.

I help people develop competency in the quadrant of making commitments and delivering value, even in the absence of certainty.
More traditionally, this quadrant is referred to as “planning and design” and is a prerequisite step towards grounding bigger promises, rather than avoiding them.