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Disagree and Commit

These three words help teams bridge the gap between frank and open interactions during the planning and the focused discipline needed for effective execution.

“Disagree and commit” is a corporate principle at the Intel Corporation. It’s also a Jeff Bezos mantra at Amazon. What exactly does this mean?

The former AT&T Controller, Nick Cyprus, was fond of saying, “In the huddle safe to say; out of the huddle run the play.”

When I asked him what that meant, he said it was simple:

It is important that everyone feels comfortable challenging the dominant thinking during the planning process. That is, in the huddle, it’s “safe to say” what you are thinking.

But it’s also important that those discussions stay in the huddle.

When it’s time to execute, everyone has to focus on doing their part to the best of their ability, even if they might have done things differently.

That is, it’s time to “run the play!

This is key since, as Justin Bariso of Inc. Magazine has written:

You have to learn when it’s time to disagree and commit. Because when you go all-in with people you trust, good things tend to happen”.

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