The urgency of change

In management trainings you learn about Kotter's 8-steps towards change. Successful change management is often where big corporate projects go wrong so it is not something to get neglected. But everyone has a natural resistance to change.  Therefore the first step towards change, according to Kotter, is creating a sense of  urgency. You need to convince people somehow that a change is necessary and it is needed right now. Without that first conviction, it will not happen.  You need that before the next step: build a willing coalition.

Turns out that you are often mistaken on what is urgent in the mind of others.  Take the big Belgian political parties.  
  • The elections did not create them a sense of urgency to build a new government agreement quickly
  • The fact that their negotiations started to take longer than the previous time (known for a political crisis that lasted too long until the economic crisis forced them to form an economic temp agreement after 6 months).
  • The fact that we approached and passed the world's world record in government negotiations last winter...which used to be listed for Irak and Cambodja
  • The fact that European countries one after another got into budget problems and that the economic world started to loose trust in Belgium also with its high national debt while being without government
  • Citizen protests, absurd "nogov" parties and Belgian celebs not shaving their beards anymore until there would be a government 
  • The fact that our resigning prime minister from our resigning government had found a new international job and wasn't going to continue to save their ass forever.
  • The fact that our LT interest rated cracked the symbolic 5% safe and approached the dangerous 6% rate quickly this week.
  • The fact that while they were fighting on a few 100mlns savings or taxes....we had to pay already a billion more interest last week due to their lack of progress
  • The fact that a Belgian bank had to be saved last month
  • ....

No none of these facts created the effective sense of urgency to move from their positions or to not break the promise to negotiate till the end 3 times etc.


You know what worked though?   Standard and Poors bringing Belgium's rate down from AA+ to AA. If I wouldn't need to pay that effect in my taxes for the coming years, I'd almost thank them because hey....guess what....we have a budget agreement after a marathon meeting.

if in the next days they can quickly sort out what they'll do on justice, police, immigration and other policies and get to decide who gets which minister assignment, we might have a government next week! Imagine that.

Comments

Virtualsprite said…
Wow... We've been having significant government problems here in America, but nothing compared to what you've been having. It kind of makes me embarassed for the people who are protesting our government when things could be so much worse.
Brian Miller said…
wo so this might be coming to an end...arnet you concerned that another country might break your record...smiles.