Shared commitments are much more powerful than rules in business partnerships. Rule-based organizations depend on a hierarchy and chain of command to keep the order and presumably to ensure quality.
Shared commitments are negotiated agreements between equals that ensure people win together. The “shared” part means everyone agrees and abides by the agreements. No one gets a special pass. The “commitment” part is directly tied to the willingness of the people involved to change and grow for something they believe in or love. It’s impossible to have shared commitments if you don’t believe in or love the company.
The key to ensuring a shared commitments business model work is granting nagging rights. People at every level give their peers permission to nag one another when they see anyone stray from their commitments. The practical benefit to any company can be: When frontline employees are willing to be influenced by managers and employees at every level of the company, the whole culture of the company benefits.
Involve your team in discussing these three questions:
- Are we more rule-based or shared–commitment–based?
- In what ways are senior leaders willing to be influenced by others in our organization?
- Where could we grant nagging rights to one another to improve our culture?
If your team is struggling to define their shared commitments, especially in this virtual environment, Good Leadership is here to help. Email us to get started.