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Cognitive Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Zakia Bouachraoui, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski

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There's Opportunity in that Crisis

Whether it’s a big economic crash, a flattening top line, a problem product margin, a changing distribution model or the loss of a key employee - we face business change on a regular basis.

As we chatted about yesterday, each and every event offers a choice - do we see a crisis, or do we choose to see opportunity? 

Have you ever 'listened' to your thoughts? Do you know which way you naturally flow when crisis or change happens? Do you examine the reality and then look for the light on the other side?  Or do you get sucked into the negative and follow the downward flow?

Ask yourself, "How do I see and talk about our current business environment?" 

Many claim we've just experienced the leveling of our global economy. Leveling as in devastation. I don't see that. Neither do my positive thinking associates. We see this 'leveling' as a normalization of our business world, a return to the basics and fundamentals that power sustainable success.  All the extreme trends and expectations have blown away.

Opportunity is all around us. If we are willing to think differently, to transform our beliefs about ourselves and our markets.

How do we transform our perspectives?

We change the way we choose to think.

Quantum Theory promotes the existence of limitless outcomes for each and every situation.  The outcome we experience is the outcome we choose to see. Pay attention to that. Any outcome is available to us - we choose what we experience. When we change our expectations - we change our outcomes.

How do we change the way we think?

Consciously change our patterns. All too often our negative thinking is simply a patterned response. We can change any pattern with some focus.

  • Take some time to pause and reflect on the knowns and truths you hold so closely about your business and market. Listen to your thoughts; capture the beliefs that are crisis-bound.

  • Examine each belief and consciously search until you find the flipside of opportunity. Then consciously create ways that could make that opportunity a reality for your business.
  • Ask your team to do the same exercise. Then share all those positives among yourselves and let the positive brainstorming flow.

Go talk to your customers. I had a client last year that was in a really tough situation.  Doom and gloom oozed out of the corporate walls.  Yet we were working on a piece of innovation that was truly game changing. One exec made a comment that stuck with me. "When things get too depressing in here - I go out and talk to customers about how they see our value today and in the future. They always give me a good dose of opportunity perspective - and they cheer me up."  Think about that - customers as a source of opportunity thinking. Another reason to stay close to your customers.

Turn everything upside down and backwards.
I know this is going to sound strange - but it works. Sometimes when I'm stuck in a thinking 'rut', I shift everything. So try this to change your perspective!

Write things in different orders on the whiteboard, put details as headings and bury the core knowns. Make all the facts look different - that helps find new opportunities we couldn't see before. Don't believe me?  Try reordering your Yahoo, Google or whatever Home page. That new order changed your perspective, didn't it?  Now go try that with your business brainstorming.

Opportunity brainstorming. Want to change the way your organization perceives the world? Try this.

  • Get folks together who are known to be positive thinkers.
  • Add in some of your known and vocal doom 'n gloomers who have the potential to transform.
  • Task the team to identify 5 new opportunities for your business. Ask them to look at everything in new and innovative ways - no rules, no boundaries, no limits.
  • Involve a leader who will focus on the opportunity and keep the conversations moving in the positive direction.
  • Let the positive thinkers mold the naysayers in real time. Sure, some of the woe-is-me clan won't come along, but some will. Those transformed and positive folks will go back into your organization and help change the thinking patterns.
  • Plus, you'll get fresh ideas for your next big opportunity.

Learn from others. Many great companies have faced tough times and risen from the ashes to soar. Chances are those leaders found a way to focus on the opportunity. Learn from them.  Read their stories, research how they found that opportunity. Learn how they managed to see their way from crisis to opportunity. Find what can work for you and your situation and apply it.

If you're thinking this is all too touchy feely for you, I understand. It's hard to believe that changing something as simple as the way we perceive things can change our business results. We're all programmed that doing something is what makes things happen, not thinking or believing something.

Still, the doom and gloom thinking isn't getting us closer to success, now is it? So what have we got to lose?

Now - think about what we have to gain, in business and in our own personal life, if attitude and expectation really does have an impact on our outcomes.  There's only one way to find out.

Commit to focusing on opportunity for a month.

Then decide....

_______________________

Check Back Thursday for examples of people finding the opportunity in the crisis!

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Rebel Brown

Rebel Brown guides organizations and individuals to harness the power of their minds to step into their ultimate potential. A masterful agent of change, for over 25 years Rebel Brown has inspired, coached and empowered individuals and businesses to unstoppable performance and results. As a recognized market strategist and turnaround expert, Rebel guided over 200 global organizations to step beyond their status quo perspectives to create profitable market advantage. She also worked with US and European venture firms to successfully fund and launch their portfolios. She also ran a consulting practice in Paris for three years, working with European clients. Fascinated by the power of our human minds to limit ourselves and our business results, she began her study of neural science. Her core question was simple. What could we do if we had no limits? Today, she brings the power of neuroscience to business (NeuroBusiness),fueling limitless thinking that drives powerful bottom line growth for her executive and corporate clients. Rebel’s work has been featured in media including First Business TV, Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Business Insider and Business Week. She is a Vistage International speaker and workshop leader as well as NSA speaker. She’s also been named one of the Top 100 Women in Computing. Rebel is also the founder and director of the Unstoppable U Foundation, a non-profit program committed to guiding kids to know that they are born to be Unstoppable!

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