Make the Right Commitments at the Right Time in Your Firm

Your commitments -- investments, growth targets, hiring decisions -- define your company's identity and strategic direction now. But they can also reduce its flexibility in the future -- if competitive conditions change and you haven't updated your commitments.

To sustain your edge, make the right types of commitments at each stage of your company's maturity. For example, if your company is young, make *defining* commitments: Determine how you'll compete, what resources you'll need, and how your key business processes (production, decision making) will work. Articulate the relationships you'll need to establish (with customers, suppliers, and distributors). And define the values that will guide your people's behaviors and choices. Revisit these commitments as your firm matures and when disruptive change strikes.

Today's Management Tip of the Day was adapted from the HBR article, "Managing by Commitments," by Donald N. Sull.

By washingtonpost.com Editors  |  August 1, 2008; 9:00 AM ET  | Category:  Management Tip of the Day
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