Take Time To Consider Time.

img_0305Within leadership, planning and decision making, timing is sometimes an overlooked element. The best laid plans could fail due to misjudging the “when”. Here are five things to consider, when timing the implementation of a new strategy.

1. Who’s perception have you considered? – As leaders, we see things from a certain perspective. We need to be careful that our perspective doesn’t blind us to other’s reality. Timing decisions and implementation of new processes, solely according to our perspective, undermines team goals. Be sure to make decisions, only after considering everyone’s point of view.

2. Mind the context. – Be sure that your organization is primed for the change you plan to implement. This especially includes the cultural state of your organization. If expectations are higher than the maturity level of the organization, perhaps culture building needs to occur before certain strategies are introduced.

3. Does everyone understand? – Sometimes, a transparent explanation is what’s needed to move forward with a new plan. We should thoroughly vet the new plan, by matching it up against industry best practices and historical research done within the organization. This is also known as accessing legacy knowledge. If plans are put in place before doing these things, chances of a successful launch are greatly reduced.

4. Who developed it? – Buy-in is critical in getting a new process to gain traction within a team. One way to gain buy-in is to let the team know “why” the change is needed and ask for suggestions. By including suggestions in the solution, the new strategy becomes the team’s strategy. They will work harder to make sure it is successful, because it’s their idea.

5. Ask. – Consider asking the team,”when do you think we should do this?”. This is almost a regurgitation of #4. One difference is that it may be an idea developed out of necessity, i.e. a new regulation your company must follow.

Notice anything? All of these considerations include the element of “team inclusion”. To ensure the time is right, take a step back before implementing new ideas. Include the team early and often to help avoid mistakes that come with premature roll-outs. Not only will you create buy-in, but you’ll save valuable time by managing the change properly the first time.