Urgency is the best path to change


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Here is the transcript:

People don't want to change

Most people don't want to change. And why would they? Everything they've done to this point has been successful. Individuals are really looking to keep what they have stable. So when you're going in and trying to improve how you're doing software, do digital transformation, I think it's really important to introduce, to put it one way, a threat, maybe not only an opportunity, a way to grow and increase compensation, but something that's attacking someone's stability and the current position that they have.

Now you can think of this as was thought of in the nineties as introducing "urgency." Let's look at some types of urgency. 

New, fierce Competitors

One type of urgency that was very popular back in, I don't know, about five years ago, where's the threat of tech companies that were going to come in and totally steal and revolutionize the way things were done.

You saw this in banking and insurance, definitely in retail from companies like AirBnB. (I guess Airbnb is travel.) But Tesla and even Google who was coming in to try to disintermediate the insurance business some summer, long ago. 

What happened there is the companies did take this urgency and individuals did take the urgency seriously. And I think they've caught up with their software abilities in there. That's a great type of urgency to introduce: an external threat a competitor. 

Old Technology

Now You also have the urgency of other factors at a technology level. Something's about to become obsolete and therefore support costs are going to go way up. You might be losing the skills to keep mainframes up to date. You've got this inevitable almost end date that you're going to encounter, that you can't really get around. And it's obvious what the urgency, the threat is. 

There's also another type of technical urgency that unfortunately, most organizations don't really encounter until it's too late. And that's the urgency of legacy applications that are holding you back. If you look at one survey that we do a huge amount in the higher double digits of executives said that legacy software was actively preventing them from changing. 

IRL Threats

And, of course, as we've seen way too much of recently, you also have total, external factors that really have nothing to do with your business, whether it's things like COVID, weird, economic ebbs and flows, according to inflation and the cheapness of money.

... those are often things that change the needs of your business and how they have to run. That can be another type of urgency to drive people to change. 

Ensure You Always Have Urgency

Whatever type of urgency you come up with with whatever type of external threat, you really should make sure to have one, if you want everyone in your organization to change and feel that need, because otherwise, why would they change? As the old saying goes, if it ain't broke, don't fix it.

And this reminds me of what a CIO once said I was listening to a talk that they were giving and they said, you always want to run in the yellow. And what they meant by that is if you're running in the green, everything is going fine. There's no reason to change. Things are great.

And of course you don't want to run in the red - in crisis mode where things are out of control and you're having to be more reactive. If you're running in the yellow, you're almost living by that old Intel dictum that only the paranoid survive. 

So whether or not you have an urgency that's real or not you definitely need to come up with one, maybe even manufacturer one that allows you to run in the yellow instead of in the green and that area of complacency. 

Read More: The Business Bottleneck

If you're in the middle of transforming how your organization works to use software as the core way it functions, you should check out the three free books I have on that topic by going to There's one in particular that talks a lot about this idea of urgency called The Business Bottleneck, which you can get for free along with the other two, if you go to Good luck.,, @cote