Has this ever happened to you? The executive team head off-site to discuss strategy, future plans and whatever else happens at those events. They plan to devise the path forward in 2-3 days, agree it, and then come back and tell everyone else about it via a PowerPoint presentation.

Despite the enthusiasm of the presenters the message falls flat with the audience who yawn, groan, and make snide comments behind cupped hands before returning to their desks and resuming what they were doing before they were interrupted. Months go by and nothing really changes and, even if it does, progress is painfully slow. No-one understands why. Fingers are pointed, performance is questioned and the strategy re-examined. Everyone is frustrated.

Why does this happen?

It happens simply because the ‘implementers’ were not involved in the journey. They weren’t asked to participate or provide any input. Nor were their opinions sought about what is good and bad about the business and where the best future opportunities might be.

Instead they’re marched into a slightly darkened room to watch a deck of 50 or more data-heavy PowerPoint slides summarising what a small number of people at the top have decided. A brief Q&A session might follow if they’re lucky. The whole exercise, including the off-site meetings, is just a waste of time because the changes envisaged never happen because buy-in by the masses never happens. It’s not surprising.

People don’t react well when they are treated liked robots.