In an interview with MDM, Harvard Professor and change management expert John Kotter said says that complacency in the workplace is much more common than many leaders think, and often is derived from past success or perceived success. Complacency can also rear its head in tough times, as people put the responsibility for creating and fixing problems on others' shoulders.
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To pull out of this complacent state, create a sense of urgency. But be aware of "false urgency," which is driven by anxiety, anger and frustration, stemming economic conditions or fear of layoff, for example. A false sense of urgency precludes focusing on critical problems and opportunities to move the company forward. One way to create a true sense of urgency to adapt to changing conditions and move forward is by role modeling urgency yourself, he says.
"It's amazing. It just kind of shoots out from you to other people. Or just simply look every time there is a crisis big or small whether there is an opportunity there. Making it a simple habit to just ask the question - ‘Could this be used in a way to create urgency?' - can be incredibly useful."
Here is a related article from MDM Premium:
Interview: Creating a Sense of Urgency