The Daily Challenge: Disagree and Commit


Management tactics for everyday use - "disagree and commit”.


Disagree and Commit.

Time to Read: 4 Mins

We are often faced with situations where we don't fully agree with everyone at the table. In a conflict situation, it is often easy for managers to default to "agreeing to disagree" to allow with the situation to move on.

Often though, “disagree and commit” may be a better solution. While agree to disagree may seem to be a more diplomatic approach, it may also encourage an “I told you so mentality” with both parties of the conflict wanting to prove the other side wrong. Additionally, agree to disagree does not ensure a united front once you move on.

Jeff Bezos, for example, is a fan of the disagree and commit approach seeing it as a way to encourage innovation, increase trust and commitment to the success of a project. The "disagree and commit" approach mandates that everyone commits to working toward the same goal no matter prior disagreements.

Challenging decisions and opinions is encouraged, but from the moment to you agree to commit, you are all in. This approach encourages individuals to speak up and voice their opinions.

Agreeing to commit helps ensure that the whole team is working together, with the same mindset - no one spends time doubting the direction, looking for possible routes to failure or depleting morale. Additionally, the team can move on and execute faster.

Consider how you and your team generally approach conflict. Could "disagree and commit" help you move faster today?

Step 1: Reflect on situations that have slowed you or your team down. Have any of those delays to progress been caused by unresolved conflicts or lack of commitment to the same outcome?

Step 2: Consider whether a "disagree and commit" approach could have changed the situation. Would the situation have been different if a "disagree and commit" approach had been taken?

Step 3: Identify an upcoming discussion where conflict might happen. Consider whether "disagree and commit" could be the tactic to help you move forward faster.

Pro Tip: This approach relies on a great deal of trust between you and your team members. The best way to avoid an "I told you so situation" is to make space for ideas and friendly debate. Often the greatest approaches are hybrids of many ideas. 

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