Day: February 3, 2020

Under Promise and Over Deliver

One often hears the saying, “Under promise and over deliver.” It could even be labeled a Dad-ism. I know I’ve certainly said it more than once to my children over the years. But some recent research suggests that it isn’t the best way to relate to customers, stakeholders, clients, and—perhaps—even children. I began thinking about this old chestnut after being involved in a situation where someone promised several outcomes, none of which came to fruition in the timeframe suggested. The individual actually over promised and under delivered—a big issue in my book. Here’s the Cliff Notes version of the story: I did a walking tour through downtown with staff from our local government to discuss several design and development issues. In the follow-up, I was told that specific actions—graffiti removed from new posts in the bike lane, tree stumps removed, trees replaced, paving patches restored—would be taken by a certain time. In each instance, even though I didn’t ask, specific dates were part of the promise. Four weeks later and none of the deadlines had …