Creating a Sense of Urgency

Creating a Sense of Urgency

A client recently asked how to create a sense of Urgency in one of their team. I jotted down a few notes for ahead of our upcoming session. My notes may be useful so I’m sharing them below.

  • Urgency = Being in control + having a time-bound action plan + working through tasks in priority order at a brisk pace + adapting when circumstances demand.
  • Be outcome focused more than task focused
  • Agree specific actions and completion times. Gain commitment.
  • Agree priority order of actions.
  • Check understanding of desired outcomes and actions.
  • Flush out potential obstacles or problems. Discuss how to (i) remove or reduce the potential problem and (ii) what to do if the problem or issue does occur.
  • Explain why something needs to be done and the consequences of it not being done or not being done by the agreed time.
  • Model the behaviour you want in other people. Share your own list of actions and when you’ll complete them by and work through them briskly.
  • Look for opportunities to recognise and praise good performance. Unless it’s very bad, silence over poor performance speaks volumes. People will do more of the things that they are praised for.
  • Review action lists on a regular (daily) basis. This can be done face to face or over the phone.
  • Keep meetings short and tight and keep to the agenda.
  • Give feedback, good or bad, promptly and regularly. Be specific. Address the unacceptable behaviour or performance (the person (that you hired and trained) is always acceptable).
  • Do everything briskly. Move quickly.
  • When a decision is made, act quickly.
  • Create simple systems and checklists for doing regular tasks so they can be done quickly and consistently well.
  • Imagine that you’re going on holiday and you’ve got a plane to catch at the end of the day. You can’t let anything role over to the next day!
  • Stop when the work is done.

Environmental factors:

  • Have a clutter-free environment.
  • Maintain a cool temperature to avoid lethargy.
  • Keep score in a public place.
  • Time how long things take. Look for efficiency improvements.
  • Keep people hydrated.
  • Sit up straight.
  • Move around to raise energy levels.
  • Take a walk in the fresh air periodically. This is when you’ll have your best ideas (according to Nietzsche)

If you’d like to ‘create a sense of urgency’ in yourself or your team, drop me a line and let’s grab a coffee and put a plan together. Call on 07931 882 555 or drop me a line at

We’ve set January’s Planning Day date.

WHAT:  ‘Develop Your Business’ Planning Workshop
WHO:  Directors, Executives & Business Owners
WHY:  Planning Delivers Better Results
WHEN:  Friday 12th January 2018 9:30am – 4:00pm
WHERE:  Altrincham Town Hall
INVESTMENT:  £195+vat
HOW:  Simply email

Mark Dyble

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