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The Primes: How any Group can Solve any Problem by CHRIS McGOFF

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Chapter 9

Social Contracting and Accountability within the Group

How do peers give each other commands?

There are no unnecessary choke points in high-performance groups. Deals are getting cut laterally, up, and down as appropriate. Junior people are making requests of senior people. Peers are giving commands to each other. Work is being delegated in all directions. When it is working right, productivity is astonishing. You can witness a primitive occurrence of high-speed social contracting any day of the week by walking into any well-managed national fast food franchise at lunchtime. You will hear rapid-fire commands, scripted requests, and confirmations of agreements.

This level of performance is possible because of social contracting among group members. This process determines how work is delegated and tasks are assigned in situations in which people can't wait for a boss to get involved—or when there is no common boss.

Chapter 9 presents three PRIMES that greatly facilitate a group's ability to establish social contracts. These PRIMES will enable you to make communication equivalent to action. Talking will no longer lead to action; it will be action. You can redirect time spent “checking up on commitments and deadlines” to “driving outcomes.”

Before jumping into this chapter, make sure you understand the INTEGRITY PRIME as it is revealed in Chapter 2. INTEGRITY is at the heart of social contracting.

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