Involvement vs. Commitment

In breakfast, the chicken is involved, the pig is committed. Baconandeggsistock_000001083916smal

In the business planning process, commitment is essential. Chickenistock_000000427700smallPlans need to be implemented, and implementation means commitment.  There has to be accountability, and peer pressure.  You have to follow up on what was planned to make sure that it was actually carried out. Here are some ways to develop commitment within your team:

  • Use the SWOT Analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) to start discussion. SWOT brings team members into the  strategic discussion. It makes strategy understandable. Your managers have to be part of the team that discusses strategy.
  • Make the budgeting elements of the planning process visible. Managers should see what their peers are spending and should hear why. One of the best things I ever watched, as a consultant, was a management group that argued over the activity budgets during the planning process. Each manager had to defend his or her budget, showing what sales and marketing budgets would come out of it. There was a lot of peer pressure.
  • Make sure people know that actual results will be compared to plan.  With time, in a company that uses the planning process, this becomes second nature.  In the beginning, however, it is extremely important that the main company owners and operators set the standards by scheduling plan review meetings each month and attending them. This has to be important.

Pigistock_000000873019smallThe bottom line here is that planning process, for a growing company, is about the people more than the plan. Not only does everything have to be measurable, but it also has to be measured, after the fact, and tracked, and managed. Your people must be committed to your plan.

— Tim

2 thoughts on “Involvement vs. Commitment

  1. Are you saying that entrepreneurs and business owners are supposed to be as committed to their business as the pig is to breakfast?
    Are we supposed to sacrifice our lives for the business? Work ourselves to death? Guarantee and then yield up a pound of our very flesh for the company, trading our existence for its?

  2. No, that’s not what I’m saying, and thanks for asking. I’m saying that the planning process helps commit people in business to doing what they say they are going to do. We’re in a specific context in this post: planning process, managing results, and comparing actual results to planned results.

    And even there, commitment vs. involvement in business doesn’t involve death like it does for the pig. The breakfast image is a figure of speech.

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