Commitment - walking the walk

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Encourage your people to be committed to a project rather than just be involved in it. Richard Pratt (1934 2009) Australian businessman

I stumbled across this little gem of a quotation the other day and it jingled my bell.

Just as leaders in the commercial world are starting to wake up to the benefits to be gained from employee engagement, so many in the project management community might also want to consider the advantages associated with investing some time, energy and (probably) money in ensuring that those involved with projects are engaged and fully committed to the task in hand.

I doubt that Im alone in observing that things tend to run more smoothly, more efficiently and more enjoyably when a group of well led and highly motivated people are fully committed to achieving an objective and working to make a shared vision become a reality. Problems become easier to resolve. In fact, many of the problems which crop up in dysfunctional environments rarely materialise in those situations where people communicate effectively, feel valued, are prepared to take responsibility and share a common sense of purpose.

So what?

Well, funny you should ask that because lately Ive been involving myself in a piece of work which has brought me back into contact with an old and much valued friend namely, The Service Profit Chain.

Heard of it? Im sure you have. If youve not heard of it, without doubt you will have experienced it. Wittingly, or unwittingly youve probably even been responsible for delivering it at some point in your professional life.

Heavens, I hear you cry, Not another conceptual model to bemuse and befuddle. Fear not. The beauty of the Service Profit Chain is its very simplicity. Inevitably, some strokey-beard types will have you believe that theres more to it than meets the eye but, dont be duped.

Basically, the Service Profit Chain works like this:

Engaged and motivated employees = satisfied and loyal customers = increased growth and profit = enhanced benefits for and investment in employees = engaged and motivated employees etc. etc. Hopefully you get the point.

How engaged and motivated a workforce feels depends largely on how well it is led and managed, alongside the prevailing culture in which it has to operate. Employees who feel trusted and empowered, who are encouraged to be accountable and who work in a climate of collaboration, where open communication and positive challenge are welcomed are the ones who will make things happen and go the extra mile to achieving the objectives they are set.

And when I say employees this does not imply a them and us situation, because the tone and expectations driving the culture must cascade from the very top, be that in the context of an organisation, or a project team.

Leaders in whatever situation have to be seen to be walking the walk, not just talking the talk. So if youre starting to think about resolutions to commit to in the new year and my burbling has struck a chord, perhaps this is one that you may wish to consider making.

The ones to benefit from this will be your people, your stakeholders, your clients and you! Isnt that enough? And remember

Commitment comes from engagement. Engagement comes from commitment.

Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!

Posted in People
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Posted by Richard Galley on 7th Dec 2011

About the Author
An independent provider offering a full suite of services aimed at supporting individuals and businesses particularly in times of change and transition, e.g. Business Coaching, Mentoring, Group Facilitation and Training. An Insights Discovery Licensed Practitioner. Previously worked for UK’s leading private health care company for over 23 years in a number of front-office and non-operational senior management roles. Most recently headed-up the insurance division's Compliance and Policy Development function, an experience which, amongst many other things, served to highlight the vital importance of ensuring and facilitating "cultural" alignment between technical and non-technical disciplines in everyday working relationships and interactions. Although not a Project Manager by profession, over the years experience gained in Project Management from several angles as PM, coach, technical adviser, sponsor and stakeholder.

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