Creating the right kind of urgency to bring about change
Strategy + Business, 2020-07-08
Many CEOs think that the response to the crisis is sticking to the core business activities and improving current products and practices.
The urgency of a burning platform dissipates very quickly.
There’s nothing wrong with sticking to your guns in defence. Also can speed up old improvement projects (digitalization, robotization, etc.).
In the fast-moving environment this may not be a good idea (KODAK).
Key question: it the existing business worth saving or improving before using new tech to improve it?
Clearly, insiders are in a poor shape to make unemotional decisions about their businesses.
Can “laggard users” (those who’re not ready to use the new tech) be sacrificed for the purpose of running faster?
Many examples relate to better focus on the mission, and invariably this means cutting fat, making redundancies and becoming lean financially.
Sense of Urgency
o Incentives in the system
o Short-term pressures to respond to disruption
o Desire to utilize (vs waste) assets and competencies
o Emotional attachment.
74% CEO agree on the need to create urgency and a “burning platform”.
However, the burning platform dissipates very fast, often without results.
Start with having a compelling purpose.
Implement workable mechanisms to embed the changes in the new mindsets, norms and habits to deliver after the initial emotional high.
But triggering emotions is not enough: new stuff wears off.
So it’s a long-term work with continuous reinforcement.