The Hunt for OpportunitiesBy Jay Forte | Posted 2009-05-13 Email Print
Your response to adversity says a lot about you -- and your organizations chances of success.
Regardless of how well we plan, some things just fail. Maybe it’s a Webinar or meeting presentation that was well-prepared but suffered from technical difficulties. Or a disciplined savings plan that has lost nearly half its value in today’s recession.
These challenging situations define our days: Some people curse and yell, while others view them as opportunities. Inaugural Poet Maya Angelou wrote, “I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he or she handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage and tangled Christmas tree lights.”
Failures, changes and unexpected events have the ability to either help or hurt us. Our outlook and response allow us to turn failures into opportunities.
Consider Thomas Alva Edison, who experienced repeated failures. His true success was not his invention of the light bulb, but rather his tenacity and an outlook that believed failures were a means to gain new information and perspectives. He constantly gathered, assessed and used information as the basis for future decisions.
Our most successful employees are the ones who have the persistence and optimism to learn from difficult situations and mistakes, and who use the information around them to re-imagine, re-create and re-experiment. They have learned to be positive and to constantly hunt for new prospects.
Enterprises can help employees hunt for opportunities by creating a more optimistic workplace culture, focusing on exponential (not just incremental) opportunities, and aligning employees with roles that match their thinking and strengths. This effort is amplified when organizations commit to gathering, assessing and using the best information to make decisions—and to use this information with a focus on opportunities.
IT departments have a key role to play in the hunt for opportunities.
They can improve the flow of information, invite discussion and idea generation, and activate organizational innovation. You can maximize your IT organization’s contribution to innovation and opportunity development by implementing three approaches.