October 19, 2020

Which, What and How

You’d think that Keeping your Promise is easy to do.   That’s true when everything is going to plan, but when times are hard, or the unexpected happens, it may not be so easy.  It may even be impossible.

It’s at these times that questions can help you hold yourself to account for what you do and the way you do it:

  • Which parts of my Promise of Value are sacrosanct?

If you have more than one set of stakeholders (and it seems to me you’ll always have at least 5 – customers, employees, shareholders, suppliers, your community), then you can also ask:

  • What’s the unbreakable promise you make to these people?  (In this podcast, Brian Chesky talks to Eric Ries about making 2 or 3 unbreakable promises to each set of stakeholders)

When you know the answers to these questions, you can ask further, practically useful ones:

  • Which part(s) of my Promise does this activity demonstrate and uphold?
  • Which part(s) of my Promise does this activity contradict or undermine?    If it does, how can I bring it into line?  Could I do something different?   Could I do it differently?

If everyone in your business is in the habit of asking these questions in the good times, you’ll be well able to do the right things, the right way, when things are bad.