Urgency and accountability, as mentioned by Seth Godin, are critical for change initiatives to succeed. John Kotter wrote about the reasons why change projects fail. The first on his list of 8 reasons is this: the lack of urgency. If change leaders adopt a “let’s wait and see” approach, progress will limp along with no clear direction.
Innovation is all about changing the world for the better. It’s fine to be a little anxious but too much fear will dilute your motivation and ability to succeed. Fear in the hearts of the leaders translates into apathy in the hearts of the stakeholders.
Change leaders need to take responsibility and push forward relentlessly. Once an approach, product, innovation or change is agreed you must forge ahead. It is about being relentless and visible. And having the courage to reflect the successes to the team and stakeholders and embrace blame when things don’t go quite according to plan.
After all – what else should innovative, courageous change leaders be doing in the world?