I’ve used this slide for some time to show a big reason for the 50 – 70% failure rate of organization change and improvement efforts. It shows that many of these common change and improvement initiatives are disconnected and don’t fit together to create a cohesive picture.

“Fad surfing in the C Suite” wastes scarce resources and raises “the snicker factor” across the organization. Management and staff quickly learn to use the latest buzzwords, templates, and processes and then get back to their real work.

Peter Drucker once defined a champion as a “monomaniac with a mission.” And Abraham Maslow famously observed “if the only tool you have is a hammer you treat everything as if it were a nail.” Many program champions swing the hammer of the latest big organizational fix with monomaniacal zeal. When this piecemeal approach fails to have much of an impact (usually within 12 to 18 months), a new hammer swung by a new champion often appears. And the snicker factor rises another notch.

Recently a leadership team retreat participant pointed out that these puzzle pieces can’t possibly fit together because all of them, but one, are outside pieces. I hadn’t noticed that. What an excellent observation and additional piece to the story. Many champions push hard to make their program THE program that frames the organization’s operations.

Tomorrow we publish my March blogs in the April issue of The Leader Letter. A key theme in this issue is how an organization’s culture ripples out from its leadership team. This was the main focus of my March webinar on Executive Team Building and Culture Development outlined in the lead-off item to the April issue. When the leadership team isn’t pulling together — and especially when teams venture into dysfunctional territory — they create a disconnected and confusing picture. This ripples out into silos and disjointed efforts.

Tomorrow’s issue also outlines my April 20 complimentary webinar on Groundbreaking New Approaches to Leadership and Coaching Development.  It provides new approaches that are helping to put new leadership and coaching pieces together to solve the puzzle of why so many of our same old approaches lead to the same old disappointing results.

I hope you’ll find material in my blogs that piece together your personal, team, or organization development picture.