5 Questions To Ask To Recognize If The Time Is Right

Discovering whether or not the timing is right to act is a crucial aspect of leadership. It’s one of the most important questions to ask before making any major change.

Yet, so many of us fail to ask this question. We’re bulldozers. We move forward. We make change happen, right?

But what if we’re doing it wrong?

In our rush to innovate, be the first to mark, or make a lasting change, we bypass the question of:

Is this the right time?

I believe there are questions that we can ask ourselves and those within our organization to get an answer. Let’s look at those questions and why they’re important to ask.

5 Questions To Ask To Recognize If The Time Is Right

1. Who is supporting this initiative?

There are two reasons behind this question. The first is that you need to understand who is pushing the change… Is it you, another leader in the organization, or someone close to the impact of the change? 

You have to know who is bringing the change. You have to know who is supporting it.

When you know the answer to this question, you can begin building a case of support for your own backing of the change. You want to know who, what, where, when, and why. It’s the important investigative questions that have to be asked.

2. Do we have the margin to make this change stick?

People are spread so thin these days. We see a sliver of margin and we ask them to take on the whole slice.

You’re drowning your people in new ideas, initiatives, and processes. Make sure your people have enough room to keep their heads above water if you’re thinking of adding one more thing to their workload.

There is an exception: Change has to come. Sometimes, this means adding more to someone’s workload to lessen the workload later on. Make sure you communicate this to your people if you see them taking on more than they can handle.

3. What needs to be shifted to make this work?

There are priorities that will need to be shifted to make the coming change stick. Explore what needs to shift and create reasons as to why this will be a better use of their time.

By shifting activities and needs around, you are able to free up some of the margin that is already burdening your people. There may also need to be shifts so that the change can take hold permanently.

Shifting, even temporarily, will help your people handle the change better. They’ll see there’s improvements being made and the reasoning behind it.

4. Where will this change take us?

We all have a vision for our organization. We know where we want to go. 

Since you know where you want to go, take a look at the change you’re trying to push out. Is this change moving you toward your goal, changing the direction of the goal, or leading you somewhere you don’t want to go?

Think about where the change will lead you. Make sure it’s in the right direction.

5. Will the change be more effective at a later time?

Sometimes, change is needed. But not right now.

Examine whether or not the change is appropriate for the current state of your organization.

You may discover there’s a better time to launch the change. A current initiative may be winding down in 3 months. Would that be a better time to launch? Or is it your busy season currently? In 4 months you will see a slowdown that gives you the opportunity to rapidly implement a change.

Change Is Inevitable

I’ve said it before… Things are constantly changing in leadership. However, it is knowing and understanding when it’s the right time to make a major decision.

Allow change to come. But also make sure you’re letting the change happen at the best or most opportune times.

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