The Dark Side of Commitment

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tomate, represented by its partner Sergio Guzmán, participates in the XI Human Management Congress in Argentina to be held on August 5th at the Teatro San Martin in Buenos Aires. In the panel “The Dark Side of Commitment”, he will present the relevance the matureness of the Board of Directors of a company has with the commitment the employees have in their organization.

The Dark Side of Commitment The fish rots from the head, Chinese expression that stands out that the Board of Directors, as head of the organization is key to have a culture that promotes compromise among people working their; on the contrary, the company will not stand for long. Commitment is the result of a tacit or formal agreement among people agreeing on a given delivery in a specific timing and form. Commitment is what he or she (or they) asks for or offers and he or she (or they) accepts to receive what is committed in the right time frame and form and that appraisal judgments will be made reciprocally in relation with what is committed by both parties. The commitment involves both parties, since who asks for or who receives the offer must state his or her judgments in time as well, and reward the fulfilling or compensate for and repair should he had not kept in force the validity of the request. As a result of these judgments there may be compensations and the trust capital for future commitments of the company will improve or decrease. For this process to occur, the commitment of the interlocutors required:

  1. Recognize each other and act as equals in the negotiation of what has been committed; the other party as a valid me. Freedom through the bargaining process to get the commitment is key to have a valid compromise from each part.
  2. To understand that what you want to keep is not the committed, but the trust relationship between both parts, that underlies the commitment.
  3. The ability of both sides to ponder, that is to say, to have the state of emotion to put in common the certainties each party has. The negotiation of both parties requires the necessary abilities and distinctions: knowing how to listen to others and listening to oneself; asking and wondering; observing and observing oneself.
  4. A culture that legitimizes these practices and the corporate value involved. That is to say, the culture of the company will be that culture supporting the commitment of each person with his company.

Is the Board of Directors who definitively sets the tone of the culture in the company, whether by act or omission? The practices of how the Board of Directors functions will develop more or less a culture where people are committed. If the relationship among the directors is not the adequate; if the coordination, focus and architecture of the information the Board of Directors counts on corresponds to an immature organization; if the relationship between the Board of Directors and the CEO is not supported by this reciprocal commitment approach, where both parties concur with the differences we have stated; if mistrust prevails; if the style is more purposeful than investigative; if definitely the commitment does not exist in this angular relationship, the rest of the company would not be able to obtain a high level of commitment of its collaborators. 

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