Timing is the choice of when to act—or not act. Timing is ultimately the choice of location—where to place an action amid an ongoing stream of events that are unfolding moment by moment. Any time one can ask when is the right time to do something—or not do it—one has found a timing question.

Reputations are built and destroyed not merely by what is done, or how it is done or by whom, but by getting the timing wrong, being too late in responding to a threat or acting prematurely. As yet, there is no encyclopedic understanding of how to decide issues of timing. It is too early for that. Getting the timing right is difficult, and mistakes, which can damage a company’s reputation, are common.

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