By Erika Johnson, co-founder and Manager Partner of Next Wave Strategies

Many organizations face a moment of cultural reckoning from the lack of centering diversity and inclusion programs in the past. While D&I programs strive to influence participation and representation in diverse groups, poor implementation can adversely affect adaptation success. Leaders must embody the values to cultivate a friendly D&I culture and implement a systemic approach with measurable impact to create lasting and sustainable change. Due to the complexity, seamless administration of the D&I principles within organizations fails for various reasons. Here are the top common four reasons.

No long-range plan

Leaders must integrate the values of diverse and inclusive culture with organizational objectives. Ineffective alignment of the long-term D&I program goals with the organizational strategic plan creates gaps in program delivery and affects sustainability. Long-range planning would ensure the organization develops a culture characterized by diversity, equity, and inclusivity amongst different people. D&I programs necessitate a change in organizational culture; it often requires substantial changes in the workforce’s composition and training and development initiatives to establish inclusivity. A comprehensive D&I strategy includes measurable key performance indicators that measure the program’s health. A lack of foresight will substantially put the program at risk due to the inability to sustain the change over time.

Lack of commitment to the program

Leaders must model D&I principles. If the program is not enforced and modeled by leadership, employees will lack the motivation to buy-in. Suppose employees sense there is no commitment and accountability from senior leaders. In that case, it will impact the motivation and enthusiasm needed to implement a successful D&I program. Meanwhile, the ensuing lack of onus means that the employees fail to capitalize on growth opportunities due to the indecisive leadership direction.

Poor Instructional Delivery Model

Poor instructional delivery models lead to program failure. The main reason for this failure would be the inappropriate application of teaching guidelines to facilitate training delivery to help the workforce integrate the D&I principles. Ultimately, poor instructional models leave the employees lacking in understanding the significance of the new information presented to them. Leaders must work hand in hand with program facilitators to ensure the appropriate program model is applied.

Lack of representation

Everyone must have a seat at the table. A D&I program cannot succeed in the absence of adequate representation of diverse groups of people. One key hindrance is the perception of diversity as anything other than meaning the inclusion of people of distinct ages, genders, ethnicities, social classes, income levels, and different cultural backgrounds. Most D&I programs fail because of the lack of appropriate representation and inclusion of diverse groups.

In conclusion, it’s refreshing to witness this watershed moment and refocus on centering D&I programs; however, if programs lack foresight, inclusivity, and a commitment from organizational leaders, the success of long sustainable changes is unlikely.

About the Author

ERIKA JOHNSON is the co-founder and Manager Partner of Next Wave Strategies, a leading black-owned women-led public engagement consulting firm headquartered in Houston, Texas. She is an Organizational Development professional with more than ten years of behavior insights and change management experience working with leaders in various industries to solve their most significant organizational challenges. An innovation leader, Erika was awarded a design patent in 2018 and enjoys exploring the integral relations between people, processes, and data. Erika lives in Missouri City, Texas, with her family.

This is a content marketing post from National Diversity Council, a Forbes EQ participant. Forbes brand contributors’ opinions are their own.