Last Updated Oct 29, 2008 2:30 PM EDT
What he saw was finger pointing, complacency, and frenetic activity replacing focused productivity.
The key to being a successful leader in this environment aligns nicely with one of the central messages in his new book, A Sense of Urgency. Use urgency to make positive change
"With real urgency," Kotter writes, "people cut out low priority work and delegate more. They cooperate more with others who are taking smart action. They look for the opportunities hidden in the hazards. All of this increases the chances that the impact of the hazards will be minimal and new opportunities will be found."
Kotter offers several tips on what you can do to instill that urgency in your organization: see what is really going on in your company, help others assess the situation properly, and model the level of urgency you think is necessary to take corrective action. Read his post for more details.
Do your executives have a real grasp of what's going on in the economy and how it will affect your business? Has that been communicated to the troops? Or is everyone just waiting for the next shoe to drop?