Integrity Creates Workability
Without integrity, nothing works.

I view integrity not as something that is either good or bad, right or wrong, but rather as a state of being whole and complete that results in increased levels of workability.

Our collaboration is a complex dance. We will be asked to give our word to timelines and project requirements. In the interest of workability, I request that you keep your word and if you cannot keep your word, that you honour your word.

What does this look like?

  • When you give your word you give it in the context of "I will make this happen".

  • However if it turns out that you cannot keep your word, you can always honour your word:
      1. As soon as you know that you will not be keeping your word, inform the relevant parties.
      2. Give a new timeline, or say that you will not do it at all.
      3. Clean up the mess you created.

Please be aware that we human beings have a very strong need to be admired. You could say that we are wired to be admired. Being asked to honour our word if we cannot keep our word may feel like a threat to looking good. We may experience the sudden need to ignore the issue and cover up.

Please don't surrender to this temptation. Instead, communicate with the relevant parties in a straight-up manner. I promise there will be no "repercussions" or "punishments" meted out by me. Research shows that people who honour their word if they cannot keep their word, actually gain the admiration of others, rather than lose it. Counter intuitive, but true.

Bottom line: Operating from this model of integrity gives all of us permission to hold each other accountable in a straight-forward, matter-of-fact way. No blame, no shame. Just workability.

For more background and much more depth on this new model of integrity, please read Michael C. Jensen's (Economist, Harvard) interview, "Integrity, Without It, Nothing Works" below.