What’s the Problem with the Next New Management Trend?

The answer depends on management’s attention span.

No matter how well intentioned, executives who are unable to keep their focus on doing what it takes to make a new approach work will move on when the initiative fails and go after for the next best thing — frustrating their employees in the process.

In this situation the latest greatest management trend might be new, but not the employees’ experience with it. So they shake their heads and roll their eyes – out of management’s sight – when executives launch their business strategy du jour to increase/improve:

  • innovation
  • productivity
  • engagement
  • collaboration
  • all, or any combination, of the above.

Employees are asked to ascend the roller-coaster of executives’ initial excitement, only to endure a steep drop in efforts to sustain the approach. Without sufficient investment in the necessary resources and follow-through, employees are left feeling cynical rather than invigorated.

Jumping on the management bandwagon isn’t the issue; what’s critical is how seriously a new approach is considered and applied. As Robert Bacal writes in his article, Management Fads – Things You Should Know:

“Because management fads do usually have substance, those who take the time to explore the possibilities usually come away from the experience as better managers. Those who do not take the time to learn, but adopt a management approach on only a superficial understanding of the techniques, become worse managers.”

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