03 Feb Commitment versus Compliance
If we The play where we learn from others thereby making our product, ideas, and lives better. This play requires us to share ideas, be vulnerable, respect the ideas of others, and admit to ourselves that we don't have the whole picture. Collaborate sounds like: What does everyone think? How safe is it? What do you see that I don't? effectively, the result is commitment. Commitment is better than compliance.
Commitment comes from within and is powerful because it is an intrinsic motivator. Compliance, on the other hand, comes from an external source. Compliance is imposed on us. What does it sounds like if we are complying to process or committing to action?
The difference is subtle.
Compliance sounds like: “I can’t check personal emails at work.” Someone else decided you can’t.
Commitment sounds like: “I don’t check personal emails at work” You decided you don’t.
In our new playbook for leaders, commitment is more than a decision. We may make a decision that one course of action is better than another and leave it at that, without action. That is not commitment. Commitment attaches action to the decision. Commitment turns Thinking, cognitive, creative, deciding work. Bluework benefits from embracing variability. into Doing, action, process, production work. Redwork benefits from reducing variability..
At work, we hear how to “inspire,” “empower,” and “motivate,” people with the hope that they will become active, engaged, and committed to the goals of the organization. This is just coercion in disguise – more of one group of people trying to get another group of people to “do” what has been decided on.
If a person has no choice but to say yes, the result is compliance. Sometimes we want compliance.
We The Industrial Age play of doing what we were told. with traffic laws and seat belt laws. Compliance and telling people what to do, especially if it means to keep them safe, is not bad or wrong. When compliance and following procedure becomes the guiding star for an organization, disaster is bound to strike. Compliance only requires a person to follow rules, instructions, and actions that someone else has determined. Compliance gives people a pass on thinking and responsibility, hence the phase “I was doing what I was told.”
In the The period when humans developed large complex organizations based on machines. Factories, assembly lines, plantations, and railroads were dominant during the Industrial Age. The Industrial Age organizational design was optimized to use humans to reduce variability and comply with their masters’ instructions. This fundamental structure shapes our organizational design and language today. playbook, the The Industrial Age play of doing what we were told. play worked for the simple, physical, repetitive, individual tasks that could be closely monitored. With compliance, the difference between minimum activity (doing enough to get the job done) and what we could get out of people was pretty small.
Commitment is based on intrinsic motivators and the key is to offer a choice. Commitment invites full participation, engagement, and discretionary effort. For creative, cognitive, complex thinking tasks, the difference between the bare minimum and what we can do is really big!
Following The play where we decide what we intend to do and dedicate ourselves to action. we can immerse ourselves in the Doing, action, process, production work. Redwork benefits from reducing variability. until we The play at the end of redwork where we pause to reflect on what we have accomplished, celebrate that, and invite others to tell their stories. this period of work.
Learn more by watching this Nudge – Leadership Nudge® 294 – Commitment Comes from Within