What to Do When Urgency Meets Complacency

work-47200_640Are you thwarted by complacency in your organization? It is a common problem especially in successful companies.

Complacency is an expensive habit to practice. Resting on your corporate laurels lulls you into a feeling of security that is counterfeit. There are dangers lurking everywhere.

Having experienced successes, people relax to enjoy the results of their hard work. It’s not only great to celebrate but it is also important. Be careful not to get stuck here.

In order to move forward as a healthy company, adopt a sense of urgency. Your long term success depends on it. Be mindful not to demotivate your people by giving short shrift to the small steps they have accomplished in pursuit of a goal.

For example, a young woman I know was working to lose the weight she had gained during her second pregnancy. She proudly announced to her husband that she had lost five pounds. His response, “When are you going to lose the other fifteen?” I could not hear her response. The look on her face was not an endearing one.

Strike the balance between enjoying success and striving for the next goal with a sense of urgency. In a learning organization, you never arrive at the place you can stop improving. When you hear someone say, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” be alert. The complacency habit is developing.

Use these steps to ramp up the sense of urgency:

1)      Have clarity about the purpose and mission of the company

2)      Articulate the goals that achieve the purpose and mission

3)      Listen to the people responsible for executing the goals to be sure they are doable

4)      Give and receive feedback consistently about progress

5)      Celebrate small steps along the way to the big goals

6)      Hold people accountable for the parts for which they are responsible

7)      Debrief to discover the successes, what you learned, and where you can improve

8)      Repeat the process.

Consider this. The company has business booked. The revenue stream looks promising. All that hard work of marketing and selling has been worth it. He’s so proud of his team and himself. “We did it.”

Can you anticipate the hidden danger? Regardless of the company size, consistently bringing in new business is key to sustainability. An empty pipeline is the danger zone. Not only new business but also improved customer care as well as up to date products/services are elements of continued success.

In other words, urgency for success is an ongoing. See step #8. It is hard work. It is an opportunity not only for people to earn a living but to learn and to contribute. What are you going to do when you come face to face with complacency when there’s important work to be done…….urgently?

© 2017 Ann Elliott All Rights Reserved

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