The Reasons For CEOs and Staff to Impart a Sense of Urgency

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Maybe you are one of the members of your team that has to wait around for other team members to catch up, due to a lack of ensuring the most important work is carried out immediately? If the staffers you are relying on for speedy performance do not deliver as expected, or worse, seem to be always swamped with chores and eternally complaining & starting to feel  like they’re running on empty, it may be time for some serious  talk. From the outset, it looks like a classic case of employees entangled in a flurry of behavior that is remotely linked to organizational goals.

A Sense of Urgency‘ from John Kotter digs deeper into this issue directly, by focusing on what works to combat the complacency issue that is now commonplace, such as the transition from the non-essential work to what really matters to the business as a whole.     

Kotter  shares invaluable insights on why business units or entire organizations fail to take off, when everything else – from market share & product reception, to the prevailing business climate, investor confidence, etc. seem to be going well. A lack of growing urgency is what can take down even a major corporation, unless the right measures are set in place to prevent this within the company.

Nowadays, everything runs like clockwork, and so a sense of urgency is even more important and necessary today than ever before. Not being able to achieve the goals required for the business at such an important time as heavy competition can be caused by excessive anxiety towards the situation. How so? Kotter shows in his book that time and resources are frequently wasted when going round roundabouts, and so the focus of dealing with problems straight becomes a growing concern. They also miss out on great opportunities. Instead of seeing what may be good for the business, the bad things come to light, and it is this ‘false sense of security’ that needs to be addressed.

It can be noted that complacency and a false sense of urgency, from the author’s viewpoint, are not a shortcoming of staff members alone. In fact, many of the top level managers in an organization, including the CEOs too, share the blame in providing inadequate levels of motivation for their staff. Some studies point out that some Fortune 1000 employers tend to be the source of downward spiraling employees’ morale in recent years. There are bosses who are complacent or self-satisfied with past glories without realizing it, and their underlings see it. Kotter has said that many can detect the urgency that is around them. Besides the various perks and such that come with jobs, and better leadership from line managers, there are other factors that matter to employees so much so that they can provide a sense of urgency. The real-life situation of passing on a sense of urgency could have been explored in greater depth here, but nonetheless John Kotter’s book is a worthwhile read.


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