1. What has been your experience in different ways that urgency is discovered, defined, and communicated to the larger group of the organization?
My experience in urgency discovery and communication has been minimal but has been not been entirely absent. I was working in a retail store where the management was not keen on the quality of the products on the shelves but the sales were good. Over time, however, the customers started complaining about the quality of the products. Being an attendant, I communicated the complaints to the management. My information was quickly dismissed and the advertisements for the store increased and intensified. The sales continued dropping even with the strong and elaborate advertisement strategies in place. The profits nose-dived and then the retailer had to close down one branch.
The closing down of a branch is what saved the retailer from further losses. That was the burning platform for the management which now realized that quality was important (Problem Solving Techniques, 2015). The retailer had discovered the urgency of the quality crisis facing the business. The management had to change suppliers and reorganize the purchases and supplies department. The retailer applied the ADKAR model of change in the business. The supplies and purchase department was notified of the impending change. The rest of the employees were notified of their role in the proposed changes. This situation was straight forward because the supplies and purchase department could also see the effects of their actions and thus communicating the desire for change was not difficult. The urgency was to restore quality products on the shelves and support this move with quality customer care service.
2. As one example, the U.S. is looking straight into the eyes of a financial disaster of monumental proportions. Does anyone see this situation for what it is? Is there any real sense of urgency on this problem?
The United States is facing a financial disaster. The United States has accumulated a huge debt over time according to Bill Gibbron (Gibbron, 2008). Such accumulation of debts together with the ever growing expenditure by the federal government makes the economy of the United States grow much slower than it should. Overall, it destabilizes the economy when the debts grow faster than the economy can finance the projects being undertaken. It is a scary situation to reflect upon. The credit status of the United States is very big and given that it is a super power, overspending should not accrue to such alarming amounts of above $10 trillion. It is a case where administrations have to take into consideration the amount of money being spent knowing that they will not be in government long enough to pay it back. This is the sorry state of affairs in the United States. It has created a paper wall where the economy of the United States can fail to grow relatively well because of the difficulties in balancing debts and revenue as well as investment funds.
There is a sense of urgency on this issue because the governments have to devise ways of spending money accountably. It is a situation where the economy is dependent on the borrowings while the experiencing wrong methods of appropriation of funds like the case of social security funds. It is also an aspect that Gibbron says has to be well considered because baby boomers are retiring and the economy will be more pressed into debt and they will not be present to pay it back (Gibbron, 2008). On retirement of a huge number of people, there is an imbalance in productivity which the United States has to ensure is well planned for.
3. Former Attorney General John N. Mitchell in the Nixon Administration, said, When the going gets tough, the tough get going. What have you noticed as being the circumstances needed to motivate people to a level of urgency to take action on change?
There are many circumstances that are needed to motivate people to take action on change on an urgency level. In a business setting, losses can create an urgency for change, competition, and desire to achieve more and gain a larger market, and inspire people to take on change (Jick & Peiperl, 2011). As in the retailer business above, drastic losses create an urgency for change. A company that has been growing may get an urgency to change when the profits stall or start reducing.
There are instances where a company that was formally operating in an oligopoly type of market is suddenly thrust into an open market system. At this point, change in inevitable.
Change can only be sensible if the company is looking to improve on the quality of operations, delivery of services and quality of production. This are the key situations that can instill the necessary urgency for change in an organization. It is important for organizations to handle change diligently to ensure that it is effective.
Gibbron, B. (2008, December 7). I.O.U Spells Big Trouble for USA. Retrieved from Pop Matters: www.popmatters.com/post/66608-iou-spells-big-trouble-for-usa/
Jick, T., & Peiperl, M. (2011). Managing Change cases. New York: McGraw-Hill Education.
Problem Solving Techniques. (2015). The Burning Platform. Retrieved from Problem Solving Techniques: www.prob;lem-solving-techniques.com/bruning-platform.html
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