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A Sense of Urgency

Harvard Business Review Press,

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Category: Leadership & Management

A Sense of Urgency

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why few organizations operate with a “sense of urgency”
  • Why this is a problem
  • How to use four techniques to foster a high-urgency culture


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Why you should read A Sense of Urgency

Complacent organizations simply cannot keep pace with today’s accelerating rate of change. Resting on your laurels is no longer viable. Competitors, evolving markets and technological developments will swamp organizations that try to sit things out on the sidelines. Today, organizations must adopt the “fierce urgency of now” ethos that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made famous in the 1960s. Business expert John P. Kotter explains why. His book tells leaders how to foster a “sense of urgency” among their employees. He contrasts “true urgency” with “false urgency” and discusses why negative pressure is counterproductive. getAbstract recommends his clear, enthusiastic book to executives who want to motivate employees, meet crucial goals and effect change in their organizations.

About the Author

John P. Kotter is the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at Harvard Business School. His books include Leading Change and Our Iceberg Is Melting.

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  1. July 24, 2013 Darryl Long
    Really like 'series of actions to succeed in changing world' and 'Bringing the Outside In' segments - effective approaches to both setting your 'organizational mind-set' and relationship building with employees and customers alike, respectively.

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