Over the last month we have been exploring thoughts around problem solving – tools, mind-sets, and validation. Today I want to talk about having a sense of urgency.
Solving problems with a sense of urgency is key to a company’s competitive position. Faster is important when competition is nipping at your heels to take jobs and profits. When we truly internalize that our performance (on a daily/hourly level) is the “pad lock” to our longevity – urgency becomes the key to unlocking the “pad lock”.
The best companies have people that work with a sense of urgency. Putting off what can be done today for tomorrow, just doesn’t cut it. You cannot do everything in a single moment nor should you try. However, a sense of urgency means focusing on the right thing at the right time in the right cadence. Simple, right? Well, not exactly.
Urgency does not mean chaotic. Creating chaos wastes resources.
Urgency does not mean disruptive. Changing things without intentional thinking wastes resources.
Urgency does mean purposeful. Pick your direction and then move. I believe you are working with a “sense of urgency” if you:
- Know what is important and are driving for sustainable results – every day, every decision, every communication.
- Get it done now, if it has to be done now, You don’t procrastinate. You don’t accept others procrastinating.
- Constantly ask, “what’s next?” Continuous improvement is first and foremost in your motivation.
- Constantly are communicating, almost borderline over-communicating to those around you what the important milestones for success are and what is being done next to achieve them
- Want more than just “good enough”. Meaning, you decide to actively do something about it other than criticize others. Don’t walk around complaining about trash on the floor – pick it up yourself.
- Are “all in” – no marking time on the clock, no doing just enough to stay under your boss’s radar
- Realize your responsibility is to make your team members’ job(s) better by error proofing their tasks. You know that “value added work” is king.
- Are satisfied enough to try again tomorrow to make it just a little bit better.