Wednesday’s Word(s): Commitment Based Management (CbM)

With recognition that a strong vocabulary forms an important element of your personal brand and success in the workplace, Wednesday’s Word (or, in this case, term) this week is Commitment Based Management .

The principles? Commitments lead to improved execution and higher performance. Managers make requests (up and down the org chart) instead of delivering assignments. Rather than telling Pat she needs a draft policy by July 6/15, a manager will approach Pat and ask if he can deliver the draft by that date.

July 6/15 may be unrealistic for Pat and so, when he responds by making sure he understands what’s required of the new policy, and relevant details, he may propose delivering a draft by July 10/15.

 Both the manager and Pat reach agreement on what’s needed in terms of the policy, and on a delivery date. The manager articulates this understanding in a manner that both inspires and reflects confidence: “Pat has committed to emailing the draft policy to me by July 10/15”.

While Pat is working on the deliverable (the policy), both the manager and Pat keep communications open. If a higher priority need arises, and Pat finds it unlikely he can deliver on July 10/15, he will give as early a notice of the delay as possible. He and the manager will discuss options, and Pat may need to commit to a revised date.

Next, when Pat completes the work and submits the draft policy, he does so with a confirmation that it is the draft to which he’d committed delivering. The manager’s role in CbM is to close the loop by acknowledging receipt and also offering timely feedback on Pat’s performance on this particular deliverable.

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