Thursday, February 12, 2009


I read a quote in a recent American Management Association (AMA) publication that hit my funny bone. Not only because it was comical but also so true - "After spending so much money on organizational change programs and leadership development, why do I always end up with Dilbert and re-runs of The Office?" Sound familiar?

The issue, a lot of times, is that we come up with a "theory of the month" on why things are the way they are. We quickly put our resources together to come up with a training "program" on coaching, or diversity, or motivation techniques. The problem is that in order to be a "program" there has to be follow-on training, follow-up, and follow-through. Like throwing a football or hitting a tennis ball, you can't be effective without follow-through. You can't hold one class or seminar and expect people to "get it". Sure it may be all great at first, but doesn't it usually die a slow, or often fast, death?

A good example is the Rockhurst or Padgett seminars. They're good seminars to attend and give you some great tools. But without someone back at the ranch to help you keep those ideas going, they normally die off very quickly.

Another good example (my soapbox again) is orientation classes. For the most part, they're worthless. New staff get thrown into these classes, told to read a bunch of stuff, and take a test. Then that's the last they hear about the origins of the organization, the vision, the mission, and how their job impacts the rest of the organization. What's been accomplished? Next to nothing.

Point is, you need to follow-up and follow-through if you want programs of any type to continue.

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