Urgency is About Creating a Frame of Mind
If you don’t have enough people with an urgent frame of mind, it’s like putting up a tall building and you don’t put in the pilings deep enough.
John Kotter is the Chief Innovation Officer at Kotter International and the author of 15 books about management and change in business. His bestseller "Leading Change," outlined an actionable, 8-step process for implementing successful transformations. In 2001, BusinessWeek magazine rated Kotter the #1 "leadership guru" in America.
Urgency is unbelievably important when you’re talking about, not little changes, but big changes. Indeed, the pattern that we’ve found through lots and lots of research and where we are, in the case of Kotter International are helping companies with right now, step one is creating a higher sense of urgency among as many people as possible in an organizations.
And what that means is not urgency in the sense of, "Oh my goodness, I want to get this." You know: running around in circles, more meetings, PowerPoint slides.
First of all, it’s an intellectual belief that there are great opportunities out there. There are also hazards and we have to do something about that. And it’s this gut-level determination that I feel, feel like I’ve got to get up every single day and do something that will help us, even if it takes us three years to mobilize people and take advantage of this big opportunity or to make sure we get out of the way of this hazard.
As it turns out, if you don’t have enough people with that frame of mind, it’s like putting up a tall building and you don’t put in the pilings deep enough. They really are the structure that supports everything. That keeps things moving around. That gets people into it in a ‘want to,’ not a ‘have to’ frame of mind.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
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