Why are agreements after facilitation and strategy sessions not implemented?

How many times have you heard the phrase: "We have tried facilitation sessions, but nothing gets done afterwards, everything stays on paper. And it goes well, and everyone is enthusiastic, but then nothing gets done!"?

Probably one of the biggest traps of both leaders and facilitators is the idea that the session itself will bring unprecedented changes, and as soon as decisions are made, it will automatically mean that they will be implemented. However... why are the results and agreements after the facilitation and strategy sessions not implemented, but remain as an easy memory of "what a good talk we had"?

Here are the main reasons for the "results drama":

1. Lack of clarity and specificity:

Unless there is a very clear, visual outcome at the end of the session outlining all of the agreements, specifically stating Who, What, and When, employees may have difficulty understanding the next steps and putting the results of the discussion into practice. It is critical to not only set clear goals at the beginning of the session, but also to write down specific actions with those responsible for accomplishing them.

2. Lack of leadership support:

If the session leader/customer does not personally support and promote the results and agreements, is not ready to say at the end that he/she will personally be involved in monitoring the implementation of the results, the participants are unlikely to appreciate the importance of the result themselves and will not give it enough importance either. The behavior and attitude of the manager is a key element in the successful implementation of the arrangements. And the implementation of new strategies or behavioral models requires particularly active support and involvement of management at all levels.

3- Lack of resources:

There are times when solutions are great and everyone loves them, they are inspiring and energizing to move forward, but their implementation may require significant additional resources (money, time, technical capabilities and human resources). And if during the discussion these criteria/limitations were not voiced and taken into account, if the choice of final solutions was made out of the context of real opportunities and conditions, then great ideas are shattered by the harsh reality of insufficient or lack of resources.

4. Resistance to change:

People often (let's be honest, almost always), experience resistance to change, especially if it affects familiar processes or established structure. To reduce this effect and make change easier to implement, be sure to include in your action plan specific steps to reduce resistance, help employees accept change, and create a positive image of change.

5. Lack of communication and feedback:

Often failures in implementing results and agreements are due to a lack of communication and feedback. If employees (not only those who participated in the session, but the rest of the people included in the implementation of solutions) are not clearly communicated the results of the sessions and their significance, they cannot accept and share the result achieved. Think through the process of cascading the results to different levels of employees, focusing on the value and relevance to them and their work.

So, to summarize - for successful implementation of session results it is important to:

Clearly articulated goals and detailed post-session actions.

Active management support and involvement in implementation.

Checking the decisions made against the realities (e.g., sew resource requirements into the decision selection criteria). And further control ensuring that teams have the necessary resources to implement strategies.

Having a separate change management process and creating a favorable change culture.

Effective communication and feedback on results and their significance.

It's important to remember that successful implementation takes time, effort and constant adherence to established strategies and agreements. It works well to have a separate person responsible for monitoring the outcomes of the session, overseeing the implementation of the plan and organizing interim meetings to keep the momentum going and modify plans as needed.