Task Force Members Procrastinate


Sense of Urgency

John Kotter, a Harvard Business School professor emeritus, has a message in his book, A Sense of Urgency. His message: To achieve significant corporate transformation, all employees need a hyper-awareness of the failings in the present situation, and be ready with an emotional commitment to fix it.

How do you know when your employees lack the energy and enthusiasm required to move management mountains? From the book Harvard Business Publishing extracts these lagging behaviors:

  • Managers over-rely on consultants to analyze the business and recommend changes.
  • Key people aren’t participating in the task force charged with executing the initiative.  
  • Task-force members procrastinate in setting up their meetings.  
  • Task-force discussions only generate complaints about the company’s situation, not active decisions. 
  • Task-force members focus more on office politics and finger-pointing than on what’s causing the company’s problems.

Most change initiatives in organizations fail.  Lack of urgency among employees might be one reason, but this is really a failing of leadership to sell the need of immediate change to the rank and file. Has your organization churned through a change initiative? Did it work, or not? What were the reasons for success or failure?


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