121 - Research Findings on Program Failure and Success
|Written by Patrick Morley|
|Wednesday, December 10 2008 11:57|
One of the top problems in men’s discipleship ministry is the leader quit rate. A staggering number of well-intentioned, capable leaders have started men’s ministries, but been unable to sustain them. Why is that, and what can we do about it?
To address this problem, I’ve been studying scholarly literature on how to implement and sustain effective programs. Many of the leaders we work with say they have wasted 5, 10, or more years on programs that didn’t produce the fruit they expected. Unless we take a research-based approach to men’s discipleship, we may bet the next 5 or 10 years of our ministry on a hunch. That doesn’t sound very smart.
THE BIG IDEA: Only about one-third of organizational change initiatives survive beyond the initial implementation. Two-thirds of change initiatives fail.
Here is some of the research I’ve found so far on organizational change failure rates (reference list at end) ...
Why Programs Fail or Succeed
Here are reasons for failure and success synthesized from the literature on organizational change.
Why Programs Fail...
So What It Will Take For a Men’s
Finally, what factors must be addressed to implement and sustain a men’s discipleship ministry program? Okumus said,
One key reason why implementation fails is that practicing executives, managers and supervisors do not have practical, yet theoretically sound, models to guide their actions during implementation. Without adequate models, they try to implement strategies without a good understanding of the multiple factors that must be addressed, often simultaneously, to make implementation work. (Okumus, F. (2003).
So, here are the “multiple factors” that need to be included in your men’s ministry “model”...
It’s unlikely any program model will be adequate to implement and sustain a successful men’s ministry unless each of these factors are addressed. For that reason, choose or construct your model carefully. Otherwise, you could waste a lot of years on a program that was never going to work in the first place.
Why not pray through the list above and check those areas that need special attention in your church? Perhaps you could get together with a pastor or member’s of your leadership team to talk about how you are doing and your next steps.
Beer, M., Eisenstat, R. A., & Spector, B. (1990a). Why change programs don’t produce change. Harvard Business Review, 68(6), 158-166.