Introducing a Sense of Urgency
As counterintuitive as it may seem, it can be dangerous for a company to be too successful. Oftentimes, along with success, an air of complacency can emerge. By focusing only on the current success, an organization may be at risk of failing to either recognize opportunities for new growth or identify potential challenges resulting from their competitors’ innovations. In order for the change process to begin, managers need to create momentum—and when no visible crisis exists, managers may need to develop some other strategy to make transformational change appear to be the best option for overcoming organizational complacency.
As you review the resources this week, continue your research, and contemplate the following:
In order to initiate change, the causes of a current state of complacency must be identified and replaced with a sense of urgency. To accomplish this, one strategy might be for organizations to hire consultants to obtain an unbiased overview of problem areas. Consider the following:
- What is the difference between a sense of urgency and a sense of emergency?
- Is complacency always negative?
Note: You do not need to answer these points directly in your Discussion post, since they serve primarily to begin your thinking process. However, you must explain your reasoning as you formulate your formal response.
Now answer a cohesive and scholarly response based on your readings and research this week that addresses the following:
- Describe an area in your own organization (or one with which you are familiar) where you recognize a level of complacency. After reviewing the different sources of complacency on page 40 of the Leading Change course text, explain which source(s) may be contributing to this complacency and in what ways.
- Reflect on the suggested methods for overcoming this complacency by creating a sense of urgency. Which of these approaches would you use to address your complacency issues? Why? Putting yourself in the role of the manager responsible for the area you identified, how would you implement the approach to create the sense of urgency for the change? Provide a concrete plan.
Kotter, J. P. (2012). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Chapter 3, “Establishing a Sense of Urgency”
Chapter 3 details the first stage in the change process: establishing a sense of urgency. The author describes the key causes of complacency and how to raise the urgency level.
Kotter, J. P., & Cohen, D. S. (2002). The heart of change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Step 1, “Increase Urgency”
Step 1 reviews what works and what is unproductive when trying to increase urgency. The chapter contains a number of case studies that exemplify the concepts.