Note to Self: Think before publishing

I was reminded this past weekend by Bruce Henry that I sometimes push “publish” much too quickly on a blog post.

Go read my post titled “Leadership and Organizational Change” and specifically Bruce’s comment.  Bruce called me out on some of my comments in my post….and rightfully so.

I still stand behind the overall message of the post that good leadership and organizational culture shouldn’t need to ‘create a sense of urgency’ for change to occur….but I think I needed to expand on my thoughts.  The word ‘create’ is what makes me a bit squeamish about this because it makes me feel as though you should ‘conjure up’ some reason for urgency.  A good leader should have already instilled a sense of urgency in their group….perhaps the authors of the book could have used ‘instill a sense of urgency’.  If they had used that terminology, I probably wouldn’t be writhing this post (or the previous one!).

In addition, I made a few comments about leaders not needing to have political acumen and the ability to be persuasive…which are false.  As a leader you must have these skills.   But again, in the context of the book I was reading at the time, it felt a little ‘off’ to me when the authors talked about using politics to ‘win battles’ and ‘convince others’ that you are rights.

Bruce – Thanks for calling me on the carpet and making me think!

BTW – Every reader of this blog should go check out Bruce’s blog…he’s got some great stuff there.  While you are at it, check out Bruce’s company LiquidPlanner…maker of one of the most interesting and exciting project management tools I’ve seen in a long time.  I had the pleasure of having Bruce give me a demo of the tool a few months ago and was extremely excited about what I saw.

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a sense of urgency by John P Kotter - Book Review | Aligning Technology, Strategy, People & ProjectsEric D. BrownJP Recent comment authors
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JP
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Eric, I can understand your issues with using the “urgency” as I often do as well. It makes me think of two things. One, to be talking about people needing a sense of urgency almost sounds like people are so disconnected, ignorant, or unprofessional that they can’t understand or interpret “priorities”. Which most people aren’t any of those things and the pejorative nature of the subtext may invoke some kind of deep-seeded feelings of resentment. This leads me to the second thing, to discuss the word “priority”. To me, and maybe others, priorities usually equates to pressure being applied to… Read more »

Eric D. Brown
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JP – Thanks for the comment.

I like your thoughts. The urgency issue is something that must exist for change to occur but many organizations don’t know how to harness this urgency. Most employees know there are problems and know something needs to change but aren’t given any direction or asked for their ideas on what types of change needs to occur.

As for priorities…don’t get me started 🙂

Thanks!

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[…] about the term ‘creating a sense of urgency‘ in a previous post (see here and here)….I still don’t like the term ‘create’ but am coming to grips with […]

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