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The Power of Strategic Commitment

The Power of Strategic CommitmentThe Power of Strategic Commitment
Josh Liebner, Gershon Mader, Alan Weis (2009)
p. 265

The Power of Strategic Commitment Achieving Extraordinary Results Through TOTAL Alignment and Engagement by Josh Leibner, Gershon Mader and Alan Weis is a collection of valuable insights on developing and sustaining employee commitment. It makes you rethink the concept of trust in the corporate arena and how it drives business results.

The authors bring their thinking to life in an interesting and fairly entertaining format, fully exploring the concept of strategic commitment (i.e. encouraging ‘employee buy-in’ within an organization). Essentially their message is, ‘without trust, initiatives will fail’. (For more on the theme of trust see articles in the Harvard Business review – Rethinking Trust, June 2009).

To summarize, The Power of Strategic Commitment is a must-read for business leaders for (at least) three reasons:

1. It is essentially a self-help book.
It contains in-depth case studies to help you recognize issues from within your own situation and step-by-step details on how to create a roadmap to address a lack of trust or strategic commitment in your organization. The most interesting and valuable aspect of the book is how the authors share real situations from real companies and capture comments from real leaders.

2. It offers relevant tools and techniques.
The authors identify key actions that can either increase or decrease trust and focus on how to generate powerful employee commitment in various situations. (See Chapter 7).  Also, the important topic of working effectively with middle managers is addressed in Chapter 4. It outlines some tips on bringing down the barriers, or what we call ‘the walls of silence’, to re-engage the employee community.  Our experience as a strategic communications leader has shown time and time again that a gap in the cascade at the middle management level has serious consequences because the role of this manager is most influential in developing and sustaining on-strategy behavior and empowering the performance of front-line teams.

3. It is an excellent toolkit for executive change management.
The book clarifies strategy and how to improve leadership team effectiveness. For example, how does a new leader or business leadership team lead and coach within the transformational minefield? The leadership diagnostics in the Appendix helps answer that question and I suspect for many would be the one reason to buy this book.

The Power of Strategic Commitment validates the importance of having a strategic communications plan in place to generate employee trust.  “Commitment trumps compliance” – don’t be fooled.  The book highlights the signs of employees who are compliant vs. those that are committed and how to leverage that trust into a culture of candor and business success.

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