Disagree and commit

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Disagree and commit is a management principle which states that individuals are allowed to disagree while a decision is being made, but that once a decision has been made, everybody must commit to it. The principle can also be understood as a statement about when it is useful to have conflict and disagreement, with the principle saying disagreement is useful in early states of decision-making while harmful after a decision has been made.[1] Disagree and commit is a method of avoiding the consensus trap, in which the lack of consensus leads to inaction.[2][3]

History[edit]

Scott McNealy used the phrase as early as sometime between 1983 and 1991, as part of the line "Agree and commit, disagree and commit, or get out of the way".[4]:39[1][5]

The concept has also been attributed to Andrew Grove at Intel.[6][7]:112[8]

Amazon added "Have a Backbone; Disagree and Commit" as one of its leadership principles sometime in 2010–2011.[9] Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos mentioned the term in his "2016 Letter to Shareholders".[10]

Organizations that have used the principle[edit]

Reception[edit]

Noted difficulties of applying "disagree and commit" are:[1]

  • It can be difficult to disagree with more powerful or senior individuals
  • There can be dissonance in committing to something while being unconvinced of it

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Origbo, Efesa (May 29, 2017). "Make "Disagree and Commit" Work for You". Seeking Mastery. WordPress.com. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  2. ^ "Consensus trap | World Problems & Global Issues". The Encyclopedia of World Problems. Retrieved July 3, 2017.
  3. ^ Lencioni, Patrick (March 14, 2012). The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 9781118266106. Great teams avoid the consensus trap by embracing a concept that Intel, the legendary microchip manufacturer, calls "disagree and commit." Basically they believe that even when people can't come to an agreement around an issue, they must still leave the room umambiguously committed to a common course of action.
  4. ^ Southwick, Karen (1999). High Noon: The Inside Story of Scott McNealy and the Rise of Sun Microsystems. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 9780471297130.
  5. ^ Ballard, Greg (November 15, 2006). "Agree and Commit, Disagree and Commit". Stanford eCorner. This is a phrase, agree and commit, disagree and commit, that actually comes from Scott McNealy. At least that's where I was told it was from.
  6. ^ Lencioni, Patrick (November 20, 2014). "Why Great Leadership Fuels Innovation". Inc.com. Retrieved July 2, 2017. At Intel, Grove demanded not only that his people argue well, but also that they leave those argument-rich meetings fully committed to the decisions that had been made. His famous axiom "disagree and commit" captures an essential truth: Failure to capitalize on a new idea often has far less to do with the quality of the idea than with the indecision and waffling that accompany it.
  7. ^ Johnson, Larry; Phillips, Bob (2003). Absolute Honesty: Building a Corporate Culture that values Straight Talk and Rewards Integrity. AMACOM. ISBN 9780814407813.
  8. ^ Szamko, Monika (April 5, 2016). "What the Paranoid Got Right – The Unlikely Legacy of Andy Grove's Intel". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  9. ^ "Amazon.com: Amazon Values". Archived from the original on 2011-05-22.
  10. ^ "About Amazon - 2016 Letter to Shareholders". April 12, 2017. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  11. ^ Baldwin, Howard (December 1, 1998). "High Technology, High Pressure". CIO magazine.
  12. ^ Highsmith, Jim (April 6, 2004). Agile Project Management. Pearson Education. ISBN 9780321630025.
  13. ^ "Amazon's Jeff Bezos urges employees to 'disagree and commit'". USA Today. Retrieved July 2, 2017.
  14. ^ "About Amazon - Working at Amazon - Our Leadership Principles". Amazon. Retrieved July 2, 2017. Have Backbone; Disagree and Commit Leaders are obligated to respectfully challenge decisions when they disagree, even when doing so is uncomfortable or exhausting. Leaders have conviction and are tenacious. They do not compromise for the sake of social cohesion. Once a decision is determined, they commit wholly.
  15. ^ "GitLab Values". GitLab. Retrieved July 2, 2017. Disagree and commit Everything can be questioned but as long as a decision is in place we expect people to commit to executing it, which is a common principle.
  16. ^ "chef/sdlc-facilitators-guide". GitHub. Retrieved July 3, 2017. We disagree and commit