Chris Brown and Management Fads

Today’s post is kicking off with a fun little video you might have seen making the rounds online last fall. (Subscribers may have to click through to view.)

Within a few days of its release, this video had thousands of views on YouTube. Even now when I hear that song by Chris Brown I still think of the video. This extremely long introduction is helping me make a comparison between fads and those management/leadership training initiatives we’ve all been a part of.

Here’s the miracle training sysem…

Okay, we\’ve all been through the latest management fads, right? If not, here\’s how it usually goes.

  1. Management decides something\’s not working correctly.
  2. They hire a consultant.
  3. The consultant brings in a new amazing system that will solve all their problems, make their coffee, and even shine their shoes.
  4. Management finds out how hard it really is to stick with the system and quickly loses interest.
  5. Everyone else (after being put through the fad-wringer yet again) is more jaded and distrustful of management than ever.

Does that sound familiar? I hope not, but I’m pretty sure it’s ubiquitous. So what can we do about these things? I don’t have an answer for how to solve the problem long-term, but I do have an idea for the short run. Keep this in mind when you’re being pitched to with another silver bullet: there’s no such thing as a cure-all.

Yes, you can work on issues one at a time, but you just can’t fix everything all at once. Not that you shouldn’t make the attempt to advance the organization and develop your employees, but keep that fact in mind.

So, do you have something you’d like to share? Maybe a training session gone bad? I’d love to hear your war stories!