Summary of A Sense of Urgency

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A Sense of Urgency book summary
Practical guide to building a “sense of urgency” – a vital ingredient for business success


8 Overall

9 Applicability

7 Innovation

7 Style


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.

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


Make It Urgent!
To survive in today’s fast-paced business climate, organizations must adopt a “sense of urgency,” but most fail to meet this “urgency challenge” in one of two ways. Either they are self-satisfied and willing to coast on past victories, or they spin their wheels in a state...
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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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    Darryl Long 3 years ago
    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.

More on this topic

By the same author

  • Book

    John P. Kotter and Lorne A. Whitehead

    Harvard Business Review Press, 2010


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