Tag Archives: commitment

You Need People Committed, Not Just Involved

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.Pigistock_000000873019small
  • 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.

The 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.

(Images: istockphoto.com)

(Note: slightly revised from a 2007 post here)

Involvement vs. Commitment in Small Business

It’s an old joke:

Question: In the classic bacon and egg breakfast, what’s the role of the chicken, and what’s the role of the pig? Answer: the chicken is involved. The pig is committed.

It may or may not be a good joke, but there’s nothing funny about involvement vs. commitment when it has to do with getting things done in a small business setting. Entrepreneurship isn’t always as simple as a bunch of mice eating a piece of cheese. Sometimes you need to get organized.

Involved is when you struggle with something that isn’t working and you keep seeing a group. You see more than one face. There’s a mix of people with authority, another mix with responsibility, and another with related tasks. When more than one person is involved in a problem, it’s going to take more than one person to solve it.

Committed, on the other hand, is when the face, and the task, and the authority, and the responsibility are all matched. That person is committed. She wins when it goes well, and loses when it doesn’t.

And that, in a nutshell, is management.

(Note: I posted this yesterday on the Huffington Post)

(Image: istockphoto.com)