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Professor John Kotter on REAL urgency versus FALSE urgency

by Phil Dourado February 1, 2009

A real sense of urgency increases the energy flow in your hotel or business unit, chanelling it towards putting strategy into action, fast. But, watch out for a false sense of urgency. A lot of organizations have a frenzy of activity going on - stressed out people running from meeting to meeting and working long hours, emails flying back and forth, copied to the world to show that "Look, I'm busy and I'm doing stuff!".

It might look like urgency. But, look closer, says Professor John Kotter, and often you see a mess. Make a stand against false urgency. If you have a regular, but stupid and purposeless meeting that everyone hates and that gets nothing done - then cancel it. Explain why first, and ask your team to also root out purposeless, energy-sapping regular meetings and other activity that adds no value to the business.

This clip is reproduced here with the permission of Harvard Business School. A Sense of Urgency is the title of Professor Kotter's latest book .