BT

Promising Your Way to Agility

by Ben Hughes on May 31, 2007 |
In Harvard Business Online this week, Donald L Sull and Charles Spinosa wrote about the practice of Promise Based Management - a framework for action in the organisation by creating voluntary verbal contracts between management employees that encourage entrepreneurship, organisational agility and collaboration and communication.
Promise-based management builds on a tradition that extends back at least to the emergence of contract law in the Roman Empire. It draws on the tenets of speech act theory, a branch of linguistic philosophy that explores how people commit themselves to action through assertions, questions, requests, promises, declarations, and other speech acts. (See  “A Primer on Speech Act Theory.” ) Promise-based management is particularly relevant to today’s executives as they increasingly specialize in their core businesses, divest noncore units, and outsource peripheral activities. It also helps executives to capitalize on business opportunities outside their core competencies and to engage and retain employees within a highly mobile workforce.
The authors go on to say...
Each party to the promise can establish terms to suit his or her specific circumstances and can renegotiate as new information comes to light or as priorities shift—and that’s much less cumbersome than reengineering a well-oiled business process.
..drawing similarities to effectively facilitated, agile teams. Whether the article brings something new to the table (other than identifying the importance of whole-organisation trust and agility) remains to be seen, however one as one blogger puts it -
...one of the quickest ways to take the wind out of a person’s sails is to break a commitment...
The full article can be purchased for $6 but the summary [pdf] is available free of charge.

Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Tell us what you think

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread
Community comments

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Discuss

Educational Content

General Feedback
Bugs
Advertising
Editorial
InfoQ.com and all content copyright © 2006-2013 C4Media Inc. InfoQ.com hosted at Contegix, the best ISP we've ever worked with.
Privacy policy
BT