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The special sauce for developing strategies that stick

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By Matt Poepsel, PhD

“In theory there is no difference between theory and practice. In practice there is.” 

-Yogi Berra

The phrase “flavor-of-the-month” can often conjure up delightful thoughts of ice cream parlors or specialty beverages. A steady stream of varied themes and options can also be inspiring when it comes to book clubs or fashion. When applied to business, however, “flavor-of-the-month” initiatives tend to have a negative connotation, especially if they include a seemingly endless stream of business fads or methodology improvements that repeatedly end in failure.

Fizzled initiatives – those that start in earnest but fail to come to fruition – can put a business leader and an organization in a sticky situation. Attempts at introducing new processes or programs can be doomed from the start if any of the following circumstances are present:

  • Leadership buys in at the top but doesn’t communicate downward
  • Staff buys in at the bottom but doesn’t communicate upward
  • One department buys in but doesn’t compel other departments
  • Everyone buys in but the group collectively fails to execute

While it’s a great start to have everyone supportive of a new idea, that’s just the first step toward achieving victory with a given program. In order to keep critical initiatives from becoming the next flavor-of-the-month, successful organizations need to expand upon initial buy-in by building and implementing a rigorous learning and development program that both supports and sustains the initiative. By leveraging training throughout the change process, successful organizations make skills development possible within each role. This investment underscores the relevance and value of the program to each stakeholder, which, in turn, reinforces their initial buy-in. This type of learning also creates a framework that can be evangelized and even repurposed throughout the organization for other initiatives.

If you’re looking to ensure the success of your next strategic initiative and want to avoid becoming a member of the flavor-of-the-month club, join us on April 26 for a live webinar. We’ll explore how learning and development can engage your people, make your methodology stick, and allow you to move confidently forward with a framework that will help you target your learning and development efforts.

Register for the webinar today and discover how you can leverage learning and development as your secret sauce for developing strategies that stick and enable a serious competitive advantage for your organization.

Matt is the SVP of product at PI. For every N.E. Patriots game, he prepares food and drinks that originate from the opponent's region.

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