Jim's Blog

Giving Control and Gaining Commitment

September 2016

Through my doctoral research and years of practical experience in large and small organizations, I’ve learned many lessons from the field of organizational science relating to commitment, motivation, control, and the attribution of responsibility when dealing with success and failure.

When they are applied correctly, they provide a benefit in just about any organization and social situation.

Every individual in a social or work group needs to feel they are in control if their leaders expect maximum effort toward common goals. After all, success is normally based on collective effort.

What we know is that there are two basic considerations that can help shape perceptions of control, set the stage for long term commitment, and result in the necessary actions that lead to successful individual and collective outcomes.

The first…is related to a person’s outlook on failure: Do they attribute it to their own behavior or to external factors?

The second…is whether they feel they can do something about it.

These two perspectives shape everyone's emotional reactions.

Depending upon the attribution/control combination, those reactions will either be healthy or not — for the individual, their organizations, and the people around them.

What’s also interesting is that people tend to generalize their feelings to other situations, and that impacts their future actions.

If you’re interested in in learning more about control and commitment, please check out Giving Away Power. It’s just 50 pages! A super easy read with helpful tools and exercises. You can find it on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Giving-Away-Power-Jim-Hill-ebook/dp/B00C8YNXNW/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452626216&sr=8-1&keywords=giving+away+power+hill

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About Jim Hill

Jim is the founder and CEO of Organizational Performance Systems.

Previously, Jim was a Marine Corps officer and an executive with Sun Microsystems. He is a past president of the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI).

He holds degrees from The Ohio State University, Webster University, and Averett College, and he received his doctorate in human and organizational performance from the University of Southern California.

His book, Giving Away Power, was published in 2013.

He is the 2016 recipient of ISPI’s Distinguished Service Award.

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