Why is a Culture of Commitment so impactful in an organization?

Dec 8, 2015 4:04:38 PM / by BrianB

Having played senior leadership roles in many solutions delivery organizations, we have witnessed both the presence and absence of a Culture of Commitment.

Article #3In organizations where the Culture of Commitment (CofC) is missing - especially organizations that claim to be "Agile” – there is primarily one of two symptoms that rise to the surface. The first and most prevalent sign of a lack of CofC is regularly and frequently missed results. To the team member, the organization is missing a significant level of drive and motivation to achieve consistent results. The second potential sign of a lack of CofC is the fear-laden organization. Results are consistently achieved but through managers that constantly keep the heat on teams who feel like they are in living in a pressure cooker. In this scenario, managers pull out the flamethrowers because they are lacking any other levers to achieve results where teams are not able or unwilling to commit and be accountable to results. In organizations where we have seen a persistent CofC, we have seen three primary positive impacts as depicted below.



Article #3 - CofC


When a team cares deeply about making a commitment for the Sprint and has the support of the organization to be able to keep that commitment, the team can project out to its stakeholders a predictable set of outcomes built through mutual trust. The team, much more often than not, delivers upon the Sprint Goals it commits to in the Sprint Planning meeting. When a team repeats this level of delivery and meets its commitments over and over, the stakeholders believe “this team delivers” and will typically leave them to their achievement, delivery-driven ways. Because the team is willing to commit, they balance out their empowerment and self-organizing autonomy with letting the stakeholders know the team is accountable for real results. When this “mutual trust flywheel” starts spinning, it is very hard to stop. Let’s face it, it sounds really great to be self-empowered and autonomous, but companies can’t live in the world of unicorns and rainbows. Organizations need real results! A Culture of Commitment provides the bridge between a fun, fulfilling, autonomous workplace and a business that achieves real results. When real results are achieved consistently, the company is making money and all team members can remain gainfully employed in the place they love working.


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Topics: Agile, Agile Organizational Design, Continuous Business Value Delivery, Lean

Written by BrianB

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