Making the most of opportunity
Have you ever let a good opportunity pass you by? If your answer is yes, you’ll know how much it stings. An opportunity is a unique chance to pivot into an advantage, and if the right one comes along, you should be prepared to grab it.
Opportunities usually come in two forms, those that you actively seek out based on insights or improvements. And those that present themselves, often when a business is in crisis.
So, how can businesses make the most of opportunities?
The first challenge lies in spotting the opportunities in the first place. The good ones tend to be like sunrises - they are time-limited, require preparation and they are fleeting. Of course, if you catch that beautiful sunrise, you’ll know it was worth all the effort, and it’s the same story for your business.
It’s key to catch the right opportunity though, so be sure to sense check it before chasing it. To do this, lots of successful companies look back to their value propositions for guidance. They ask themselves if they want to ‘stick’ to the promises they made in that value proposition or ‘twist’ and take the opportunity. They might also ask themselves how this particular opportunity will amplify and enrich what they are doing. Will it help them stand out in a crowd? Will it help them offer more? Will it help them reach more people and engage with them? All crucial questions. Finally, they might ask themselves if the opportunity is actually helpful or if it will simply serve as a distraction.
Bringing the right opportunity to life
With the right opportunity recognised, it’s now time to bring it to life. One of the most important starting points for this lies in making the opportunity actionable when you present it to your colleagues. Focus on language that veers away from wishful thinking (the ‘shoulds’) and head towards action (the ‘we wills’). Simplify it to make it more engaging, nobody wants to see another PowerPoint slide show. Talk to as many people as you can about it too, and don’t present it as a fait accompli. Ask for people’s help in making it perfect, and you’ll get far more support. It’s also vital to define the return on investment, after all, no opportunity comes without the need to invest time, effort and money.
Maximising the opportunity
The final part of the puzzle involves making the most of your chosen opportunity. Here, it’s key to decide what you will let go of. If you want to decide on something fast, you’ll have less time to gather and study detailed information, and vice versa. Which will it be? At this stage, many successful companies also adopt ‘disagree and commit’ teams. These allow everyone to disagree as much as they wish, but only with the mutual understanding that once the decision is made, everyone commits to it.
With all this considered, it’s time to get out there and seize that opportunity, knowing it’s exactly the right fit for your company.
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