Commitment is frightening. It involves taking a risk. What if it’s not rewarded? What if it’s not reciprocated?
It’s not easy either. There are bound to be hiccups and challenges, which take hard work and determination to navigate.
But without commitment we can’t form nourishing relationships and without commitment we can’t achieve our goals. It’s the goal achieving part I’m thinking about today.
Imagine you have a goal to achieve. It could be drumming up new members, selling tickets, or persuading people to buy your product. There’s rarely just one route to get you there. Different disciplines – sales, marketing, communication, etc – might achieve the right result and even worse, within each discipline different strategies and tactics might do the trick. But one thing’s for sure, trying a little of each approach will get you nowhere! You have to make a choice and then commit.
Sounds simple doesn’t it. But what it really means is you have to make difficult decisions. You have to decide, based on your very individual set of circumstances, which is the approach most likely to deliver the results you want. Then you have to commit. And once you’ve committed you have to invest in it and reject the alternatives.
In communication terms, this could mean focusing on converting your workforce first and foremost to the new approach. Or it could mean putting all your energies into social media, creating compelling media stories, or engaging directly with the targets through, for example, events or direct mail. And hidden in these few options are the complexities of identifying the right target audience. Is it your employees, existing customers or prospects and if it’s prospects, which ones? Which market or industry are you going after? Who are the really influential decision makers?
Two things are certain. First, hedging your bets won’t work. Spreading your budget thinly across a variety of viable options, will probably just result in spending all your time and money on getting nowhere fast.
Second, failing to invest the necessary resources on your chosen course of action is also likely to result in failure, or at the very best a mediocre outcome.
So yes, if you’re going to get the outcome you want you have to think hard about the choices in front of you. Once you’ve decided on the viable options, be honest about what it’s going to take to make them work. Then you can make a realistic choice. If you and your team is not willing and / or able to deliver what’s needed, don’t take that option.
But once you have decided, commit. Put all you have into making it work. And yes, this does involve taking a risk. But it’s a manageable risk if you’ve got good measurement and evaluation in place and you’re prepared to adapt.