I was recently doing some coaching in a large organization. While sitting in the cafeteria the alarm sounded. It was loud and duly “alarming.” Then the voice came over the intercom announcing a particular emergency code. I looked around and noticed the employees in the cafeteria paid no attention to the alarm. They were laughing, talking and generally tuned out.
The lack of concern suggested to me there was “no problem.” And, well, there wasn’t. So, I didn’t move and probably won’t if it goes off again.
So, when you sound the emergency in your organization, and nothing happens–eventually people stop believing urgency is ever really needed. Not good.