It is a common process-improvement scenario: After a project team or a work group is formed, members have a series of productive meetings and workshops, but then nothing happens. How many times has it felt like there are great team dynamics in the conference room but when it comes time to execute change, no one acts? What drives these disconnects?
Many people want to attribute these failures (and they are failures) to the quality methodologies used. It is not uncommon to hear, for example, that Six Sigma is too complex or that Lean works best in production environments. For every method there is an excuse. But the failures transcend industry, culture, education and reward structure. What is more frustrating about this “almost engaged,” “almost empowered” phenomenon is that the people participating believe, during the workshops, that they are doing everything right. They believe they are highly engaged and most outsiders would look in and agree.