Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Timing is Everything

I have been thinking a lot about timing in recent days. Ecclesiastes chapter 3 has the famous chapter on timing. It starts in verse 1 by saying, "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven:"

Those words written so long ago still amaze me. In my own mind, I fight these words because I want the timing and seasons of an activity to be up to me. But when I read this I remember that I do not control the timing of so many things.

As that reality dawns on me and I consider again my role in the world, I am able to put myself in a right relationship with the God who has planned out the ages and is working out His will in our lives.

So what does this have to do with innovation? It is very simple. Timing is everything in innovation. Think about an idea that you have which you would like to bring into the world in a new and exciting way. The timing of when, how, why and where are critical.

For example, with some innovations it is very appropriate to launch them in a hard economic time. Think of an innovation that allows people to save money on gas or keeps their home utilities down. Other innovations would never fly. Imagine trying to launch an innovation in luxury pet carriers in a bad economy!

But there are other issues with timing as well. What if your innovation will take you away from your young family for days, weeks or months? What if your other commitments are keeping you from spending the time on your new idea?

As we look at our ideas and how we might move them forward, we need to be very sensitive to the Holy Spirit and His leading. Timing is everything and the right idea can be pushed forward at the wrong time. But if we are praying about our innovations and bringing them before God, He will show us the right timing.

3 comments:

Samuel said...

Jon,
You speak of 'timing', this is true. There is also a sense of 'cycles'. Throughout the ages, there have been 'cycles', some much longer (like the acceptance of chapters and verses in the Bible, which is becoming like a tradition, and is probably going to face some changes in this century / millennium), some much shorter (like the planting of cash crops, good for only a season). Innovation and ideas can depend on 'timing', but not strictly. Can you think of innovations that took root but was outside of 'timing' and was outside of hard (or good) economic cycles?

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Sam, thanks for the good thought. I created a blog post in response to your idea/question. I am still thinking on the examples part. Check it out: http://innovationinmission.blogspot.com/2008/10/beyond-timing.html

JC Christensen said...

When I read this post I thought of sitting out in the Pacific Ocean trying to catch waves and body surf them into the shore. For me timing is powerful. Sometimes you can look at it and because it seems so repetitive you don't think it has any force behind it. But get out in front of timing and you notice all your efforts being sucked away from you. And get out late on timing and you see the best waves pass you by. Honestly you just have to keep trying. Some waves will surprise ya, it doesn't look like there is anything there and but they grab ya and seems like everything is perfect, almost effortless, and it takes you all the way into shore.
Now in our fourth year of business we're getting ready to launch a production schedule. Is the timing right? I think so, and as I've asked around it appears that it's observable. I've seen it coming. Others see it coming too. But when the actual time comes to ride that one in, will it take off?

So there you go "timing", "cycles" and now "waves".

Here's the baton somebody else take it!