In any project or human endeavour, all you need to accomplish it sucessfully can be put into one of three kinds of categories:
All prior intentions, knowledge and planning end up being a decision.
They can be chunked in unique answers to simple questions.
→ The outcome is a blueprint of desired reality.
These are the rearranging of atoms or bits.
They can be chunked in simple tasks in a precise time and place.
→ The outcome is a modified or entirely new reality.
Agreements are the glue needed to link decisions to actions.
They can be summarized as “Yes, the best thing is to stick to the statement of this decision”, and “Yes, the best thing is to follow this course of action”.
→ The outcome is success.
Why is agreement so important? Because its nature is very often mistaken.
Agreement is a shared goal with others that leads you to your best interest.
Any other thing is a deal, a transaction:
Someone offers you an amount of value, usually money or a position inside a system, if you take decisions or actions that lead to their specific goals.
The stepping down in the ladder of commitment
Step 1. You must achieve a very clear goal
Even if the deal states that, and you are interwoven in the machinery of the project, no contract can set up obligation when things become really hard.
The fact is that “impossible” sometimes depends on the magic that occurs only when you are pursuing your own goals.
→ You have to do your best. Full stop.
→ This leaves the responsibility of success to the other part.
Step 2. You are commited to achieve just what is stated in the deal.
Someone has set up a very clear shopping list. You are not involved with cooking the meal.
→ You just have to supply exactly what you are asked for.
→ This leaves alone the other part managing the whole kitchen.
Step 3. You have to take the deal.
Things can get worse when one counterpart is taking the deal not for a goal, but to survive. Surviving is not a goal. Is a precondition.
You need to pay the mortgage and the bills, or just drinkable water and vaccines. So you say “Ok, I’ll do it” and work for the guy. This is not real acceptation. This is giving in.
→ Your only task is to make sure the job is done in a way the guy say “Ok, I’ll pay you”.
→ This leaves to the other part the responsibility to think and to control everything. Not to mention get the money itself to pay you.
The missing part
All efforts in business, all research, are put into better decision taking and better development: Business Intelligence, magic cuadrants, decision matrix, critical path chain, agile development… and so forth and so on.
Agreement is taken for granted.
That’s why making business is so hard. There are not shared goals. There is no agreement.
Simple as that.
Now, this let me thinking about what these shared goals could be…