Before watching the Ideas and Trends and The Importance of Urgency videos, I didn’t fully understand urgency and the need for it when implementing change. I always compared this idea with a school’s tendency to introduce new platforms and expectations every school year. This, instead, is what John Kotter describes as “frantic stuff that isn’t urgency” (harvardbusiness, 2008). Real urgency is the feeling that something is so important that it needs to be done efficiently so it can be initiated as soon as possible. This difference is incredibly important. The first kind frustrates and discourages crucial people involved in the change, and the other inspires them to actively participate in it. Whatever the change is, it really can’t occur without that buy in and passion from each individual involved in it.
Implementing change and maintaining urgency for it is an individual and collaborative concept. The contrasting idea here is time. Urgency makes it seem as though the change itself must occur rapidly, but the Ideas and Trends video makes it very clear that real, effective change takes time (Seton Hall University, 2009). I believe this is one of the main reasons people are hesitant to change. Metaphorically, it’s a diet. The best diets aren’t those that help people lose X pounds a week, but instead they are the ones that take time and create a change that is consistent. Then, similarly again to a diet or working out, change plateaus and people think that because everything is going well now, there is no need to continue working to change. Both videos reference this idea. The Seton Hall University (2009) video states, “We thought we were doing just fine, but there is a better way” and in Harvard Business’s (2008) video, John Kotter says that the problem is when companies think, “Everything I’m doing right now is right. There is no need for me to change.” There is always room for improvement individually and corporately, and maintaining urgency to make those changes is what keeps companies, including schools, on track with the quickly changing world in which we live.