John P. Kotter, in his latest book A Sense of Urgency [Harvard Business Press, 2008] cites two reasons why, by his calculation, 70% of Business change either fails to deliver or is never instigated in the first place. These two reasons are complacency and false urgency.
He believes that complacent people do not realise they are complacent and that they believe someone else is responsible for solving the challenges the business faces. Kotter goes on to describe complacent people as tending to avoid leading and trying to maintain the status quo. He describes false urgency as being created by people who are very active but not necessarily in meeting the challenges of their company. They tend to be stressed, tired and feeling the weight of too much expectation. They typically spend too much time in meetings where people are more interested in making themselves look good than in meeting new challenges.
Kotter describes true urgency as being fueled by the belief that the world contains great opportunity among the challenges.
If you, like me, are proactively seeking new challenges, have gut instinct and determination to take a challenge head on and win then I reccomend you read this book and find out how to remove complacent and false urgency from situations where urgency is required… How to find opportunity in a crisis.