Monday, November 2, 2009

Why Do Good Programs Fail?

We have so many programs at work.  The list is long and varied...

1) Change Management Programs
2) Employee Engagement Programs
3) Team Building Programs
4) Customer Service Programs
5) Six Sigma Programs
6) Pay for Performance Programs
7) Putting Customers First Programs
8) Going Green Programs
9) Casual Day Friday Programs (attempt at humor, not serious about this one)
10) Wellness Programs
12) Process Improvement Programs

And so on.....and so on.

I have to ask myself, why do well intentioned programs like the ones above fail to deliver on their original promises?  In case there is some skepticism about my premise, consider the following:

  • One-third of all change management programs fail
  • One half of customers leave within a five year period
  • At least 50% of surveyed employees report being disengaged or ACTIVELY disengaged at work
In our experience, programs fail due to failure to execute.  But why do we fail to execute?  In my experience we have very detailed procedures that go with our programs, there is usually quite a lot of effort and expense associated with them, we may have training around the programs and we often times have a lot of hoopla and excitement.  We buy t-shirts and coffee mugs.  What is the problem?

So to restate the question, Why do we fail to execute on well intentioned programs?

I have some ideas on this, but would LOVE to hear from you on why you think programs fail.  To incent you to participate, I am announcing ICC's Blog Commenting Program.  It is very easy, the 1st, 10th and 25th person to comment will win a very cool prize.  (to be mailed to you)

To start you off, here is a reason why I think we have failure to execute:

1) Employees are unsure of the reason for the program to start with

Now it's your turn!
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