Often, our instinct is to make the current bump in the road far more urgent than it actually is. It focuses our attention and rallies those around us to take immediate and deliberate action.
After all, if this is the big one, of course we should drop everything and deal with it.
Missing from this equation is the cost of dropping everything. The short-term herk and jerk that is delivered by an organization that responds to those that amplify problems into catastrophes inevitably leads to poor performance in the long run.
Employees who do this ought to be counseled to cut it out. It's not what we hired you to do. Bosses who catastrophize are often hesitant to admit it, though, and if you work for one, it's going to continually hurt your ability to do your best work.
And non-profits who catastrophize to meet their next funding goal inevitably sabotage the very work they set it out to do in the first place, all because it's an easy way to raise some extra money.