Jan 9, 2010

Review of Kotter's 'a sense of urgency'

Taking a diversion from the focus on self improvement, here is a note on another related area;enabling changes in organizations. An important recent addition around literature on Change Management has been 'a sense of urgency' by John P.Kotter.(2008, HBR Business Press). Kotter is known for eight steps for succesful large scale change ;
  1. Increase urgency
  2. Build the guiding team
  3. Get the vision right
  4. Communicate for buy-in
  5. Empower action
  6. Create short term wins
  7. Don't let up
  8. Make change stick
Kotter builds on the first step 'Increase Urgency' to write a practical book .Kotter first talks about complacency ( as a product of perceived success) and also about a false sense of urgency(activity vs productivity).He then goes on to describe one strategy and four tactics to increase true urgency
  • aim for the heart ( and not just the mind)
and 4 tactics
  • Bring the outside in (reconnect the outside and the inside)
  • Behave with urgency every day(demonstrate your sense of urgency)
  • Find opportunity in crises(crisis as friends)
  • Deal with the NoNos (remove and neutralise all urgency killers)
The book goes on to provide practical 'to do' approaches and illustrative cases for all of the above. The stories around behaving with urgency every day are in some ways an eye opener.We will talk about some of the tactics in subsequent notes

A must read for any one involved in enabling organizational change in some manner

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