You had a couple of questions, and, while I cannot really answer them,
perhaps I can suggest some thoughts for you to explore.
You said people were skeptical about the project's potential for success.
This is very likely based on their past experience with this organization.
Companies do the 'flavor of the month' trick, or they are ineffective at
completing projects, or they tend to declare projects a success based on
shallow, non-systemic measures. In the last case, everyone knows that
nothing really changed.
It is also possible that there was insufficient effort to make them feel
included in the process, or that they feel not really empowered because
management already knows what they want to do. Best recourse is to pick a
few people you trust and have informal, perhaps indirect conersations over
lunch to find out what they are thinking and feeling.
The answers to this question will tell you if applying LO can work in the
current environment. The soil has to be ready or nothing will grow.
You also asked about putting training into practice. This is a difficult
issue for some reason. When you went to school you learned material in
class, and then you had homework assignments to test your knowledge and
extend it. This is still the best way. Give people assignments to go out
and empower someone this week, practice a very specific supervisory skill,
and practice a leadership skill once. But be very specific, require
management to follow up, have discussions with people after they have
tried it to see how it worked, and so on. There is no magic bullet here.
As you said, people need some prodding to get moving, and it is
management's job to provide the prodding in a gentle way.
By the way, the practice needs to happen immediately after the class. If
nothing happens within 3 days, then very likely nothing will happen. And
management needs to know up front what will be expected of them.
Rol Fessenden LL Bean, Inc. firstname.lastname@example.org
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <email@example.com> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>