Posts Tagged ‘timing’

It is all a matter of timing…

Thursday, January 31st, 2013

I was out walking a week or so ago when I came across this unusual sight.  I don’t recall ever seeing a daffodil blooming in mid-January and it was made even more striking by a blanket of snow.  I have no idea if this plant will survive its premature growth spurt.  I suspect it will probably have to wait a year before it has the resources to try again.

It is worth considering that there is a lesson here for us.  Often it isn’t the idea behind the change that is wrong as much as the timing is premature.  People change when they are ready to and it is famously difficult to try to force change upon unwilling or unready people.  How do you get them ready?  By communicating effectively with them; ensuring that they understand not only what you are trying to achieve, but that you understand the impact the change will have on them.  They have to perceive some positive benefit to themselves in order to invest their resources in changing.  Once you persuade them to ‘bloom’ you had better be sure that you have created the right environment to support this change and to protect your delicate ‘flowers’ from unseasonal ‘snow’!  Get it wrong and you too might have to wait another year before they are ready to try again… 

All the right notes… not necessarily in the right order?!

Saturday, February 5th, 2011
All the right notes…

I’m sure many of you are familiar with this classic Morecombe and Wise sketch, and if you aren’t you really ought to watch it, it is comedy gold!  However I had a real life situation the other day that made me think of Eric’s words “Listen… I’m playing all the right notes, just not necessarily in the right order!”   I was involved in a bit of communication that went awry.  We exchanged a number of messages and I wasn’t at all convinced that it was being resolved but I stuck with it.  Today I heard that it was all satisfactorily resolved but I suspect that the issue wasn’t so much the substance as the timing of the communication.

I’m sure we have all been in situations when someone asked us something at the wrong time and we failed to engage with them properly, and maybe afterwards said something like “Why didn’t you just ask me..!” only to discover that they had.  If your perfectly constructed message arrives at the wrong time for your recipient you maybe doomed to a difficult time.  We can’t always know what is going on for our recipients especially when we fire off an email or text, but if it is important, and I’m phoning, I try to ask the person “Is this a good time for you?”  If it isn’t then I’m not only wasting both our of time but potentially my one shot to get the message over.

In communication, like so much in life, timing is everything


Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

It is impossible at this time of year not to notice the change of season, the leaves on the ground, the nip in the air.  I certainly am all too aware of my body responding to this as it tries to tell me it is time to hibernate.  As human animals we are still very affected by these cyclic changes in our environment, despite our ingenuity and its ability to insulate us from the cold and the dark.  However all this makes me reflect on the importance in taking account of timing where we are in the various business and economic cycles when trying to introduce change.  If you do not take account of both the external environment and that which pertains to your own business then you are far less likely to succeed.  The key is always to start from where you actually are and build your bridge out to where you wish to get to.  This involves taking sometime to actually take stock of your current position / state in terms of resources, morale, skills, capability etc. so you know what help you require in order to succeed.  All too often this vital step is skipped as “we don’t have time” and the knowledge is assumed…

“In seed time learn, in harvest teach, in winter enjoy.”  William Blake

Group Sex…. for toads

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

It appears to be that time of year again when a young toad’s mind turns to sex!  It is  a beautiful spring day in Surrey, the birds are a twitter, the sun is shining and the pond is heaving with toads having a gang bang! 

They know that this is the time to do it.  I wonder what this time of year is the time for you to do?

I know I have people to see and calls to make; what about you?

“Spring is nature’s way of saying, “Let’s party!”  Robin Williams

Changing with the Seasons

Sunday, October 19th, 2008

You only have to take a look around to see that we are now in the grips of Autumn; around here we have some beautiful autumn colours.  It is a period where nature withdraws the useful sugars from the leaves and reabsorbs them to prepare itself for next year’s growth.

If one looks at the stock markets of the world, one could argue that something a little similar is going on.  Stock markets always go up, then go down again in something akin to a seasons.

People go through periods of rapid growth,  absorption, and then stagnation physically, mentally, emotionally, professionally… on all levels.  The same is true for businesses.

One needs to be aware of where one is in one’s own ‘year’, to know what season you are in now and to adjust your activities and your expectations to match it.  The same is true for people you are trying to influence or lead.  Should you be planting seeds, fertilising them or harvesting now?

If you ignore the ‘seasons’, you a quite likely to be wasting your time and energy…

“Autumn is a second spring where every leaf is a flower”  Albert Camus

“And you would accept the seasons of your heart just as you have always accepted that seasons pass over your fields and you would watch with serenity through the winters of your grief.”  Kahlil Gibran

Timing is everything!

Monday, April 14th, 2008

I was on a long drive yesterday in conditions that could only ever happen in England, in April! We started off in lovely spring sunshine, and after about half an hour were driving into a sky that was battleship grey, split by forked lightening and soon I appeared to be piloting a submarine! It was just some of the nastiest motorway driving I have done in years. This cycle of sun and rain continued as we drove north and east.

Our journey, luckily, was without incident and we arrived safely. However, we must have past at least 3 accidents en route. Now, I don’t imagine any of those people left home expecting that day to be any different from any other; they didn’t expect to suddenly suffer some mechanical fault, or be the victim of some random idiot, or have their own misjudgement so horribly called to account. The fact is that ‘stuff’ happens, and if our only strategy is to assume that it only happens to other people then one day, who knows, there might be a painful and rude awakening.

Perhaps had each of these people driven just a little faster, or a little slower, they would not have been in Harm’s way. In life, timing is really everything. Things you can get away with one day, you are punished for another; things you are rewarded at one time can later count against you. I hasten to add; I am not just talking about driving accidents, but life in general, and Change in particular.

So, the key is remaining aware and sensitive to your environment; extending your sensitivities and tuning in, rather than numbing out. You have to be responsible for what you are doing rather than switching to ‘cruise control’.

“Life is all about timing… the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable… attainable. Have the patience, wait it out It’s all about timing.” Stacey Charter
“When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute – and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”
            Albert Einstein