Two basic kinds of urgency have a way of infiltrating organizations. One stems from fear or anxiety and creates panic. The other is triggered by big opportunities and can create momentum. To execute new strategies and achieve real change, the latter must be prevalent. Opportunity-driven urgency can create powerful and sustainable action; it can inspire people to be proactive and think beyond what their day jobs require of them.
The opportunity must be real, clear, and thoroughly communicated in order for this kind of energy to permeate an organization – people must understand the goal before they can work toward it. And if you think your business has no opportunities to create true urgency to drive employees, put a group of smart managers or execs in a room. If you facilitate the right kind of discussion for a day, they will come up with a clear and emotionally compelling opportunity statement.