A business is only alive to the extent that there is commitment.
This can be said of the individual elements of any business – the products, the services, the people, the customers, the culture, the story, the brand – but it is the collective attainment of commitment that is the ultimate marker of success.
This quality is elusive, nameless in most businesses, and manifests itself in things like strategy, culture and customer. There is no one thing that activates commitment, no one idea or mission statement, but it is intentional and you can feel it in the people, ideas, processes and stories of a company that has it.
In order to bring something like commitment to life you must first know how to define it, understand how to use it to bring order out of chaos and how to nurture and grow it with every action and interaction.
The thing you must understand about commitment though, is that it cannot be made, it can only be generated, just as a tree cannot be made, it can only come from the careful nurturing of a seed.
I’ll go as far as to suggest the search for this thing I call commitment is the central theme of our lives as well as the one timeless way of creating a business that is fully alive.
Businesses that enjoy commitment most radiate through a collection of definable characteristics that exist both internally and externally. These same characteristics exist in every business to some extent, but it’s the level of intentional manifestation that acts as a potent measure of the degree of commitment one company enjoys over another.
These guiding characteristics come to life as patterns and they define the business through actions taken over and over again by the people that execute strategy, express culture and co-create customer experiences.
So, my first question to you as you contemplate the validity of this idea. Are you committed to what you’re doing? Don’t be afraid to answer – not at all – it may be the best answer. But, if the answer is anything less than “hell yes” – reconsider everything you’re doing.