|By Rebel Brown||
|September 15, 2009 03:30 AM EDT||
So many seem to expect continued failure these days; stuck in fear, focused on the negative. The economy is our scapegoat, and Eeyore's "Woe is Me" echoes resoundingly.
Yet some businesses and people are thriving - in the middle of the same 'crisis'.
So what's different for them? What do these thriving people and businesses see and do that everyone else can't seem to see or do?
A lot of it comes down to attitude and beliefs. Yes, touchy feely stuff. But I do believe that how we perceive our world impacts our experience. My own life is enough proof for me. If we look around, we'll see lots of evidence.
Find a growing business and you'll see a passion for creating the next opportunity. These teams consciously look for an upside, while everyone else focuses on sliding down the slippery slope.
Find a successful person and you'll often meet a positive, focused individual who is all about viewing the glass as half full or even overflowing, who sees opportunity in each and every situation, no matter how dark it may seem. They shine a light into the darkness et voila - their world is bright.
What if adopting a positive viewpoint changes our crisis into opportunity?
In Chinese symbols, Crisis shares a common symbol with Opportunity. The symbol for 'Crisis' contains two words, danger and opportunity. Taken together - the symbols mean 'opportunity in a time of danger'. Imagine that! Inherent in every crisis is the aspect of opportunity.
So what determines the outcome? When a force intervenes to cause a 'turn for the better', the crisis transforms into an opportunity.
We can be the force that powers the swing from crisis to opportunity.
How? Our attitude! When we look at life with a positive attitude - we're more likely to see new opportunities, to think in out-of-the-box ways, to create differently, to believe in our abilities to power a positive outcome. Those are the key ingredients for success - in business or our personal lives.
It's not easy to focus on the positive in the middle of the storm. I'm often called a 'Pollyanna' thanks to my passion for seeking the upside. It used to hurt my feelings. Not anymore. Now I feel sad for those who see my positive focus as some fairytale fantasy. I know the power of positive. I've practiced it through many tougher-than-fiction crises in my own life. I've always come out stronger on the other side - thriving.
We can thrive. We all have the power to control how we see and respond to the world - and to benefit as our world responds in kind.
Are we the positive force that powers opportunity in crisis, or are we part of the crisis?
It's our choice. What do You choose?
Have you ever 'listened' to your thoughts? Do you know which way you naturally flow when crisis or change happens?
Let's test it right now. Ask yourself: "Do I See an Economic Crisis or a Market Opportunity?"
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 thoughts and expectations - we change our outcomes. So how do we change the way we think? Well, that depends on what works for you and your organization. Here are some of the options I suggest to clients.
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.
As I've been talking about finding the opportunity in a crisis, I realized some of my friends are perfect examples of finding light in the midst of darkness. So today isn't all about business - it's about people who chose to make lemonade when they were given big fat lemons.
Take my dear friend Amanda (Yes, some of the names are bogus). 13 years ago she was diagnosed with liver failure. California told her she'd wait years to reach the top of the transplant list - a death sentence. Did she curl up in a ball and give up? Nope. She picked up and moved to another state where she could have the transplant in a timely fashion. She had the transplant and has never looked back. She's alive and kicking with us here today.
Then there's my buddy Chuck. He was diagnosed with a Class 4 GBM brain tumor, given 2 months to live. The doctor told him NO ONE survives this type of tumor, that treatment was hopeless. Chuck did the surgery, radiation and chemo TWICE - even when the doctors said it was hopeless. He took alternative treatments. A hypnotherapist imprinted the belief that the doctors were wrong. They were wrong. At six years and counting, he's the longest living survivor of this form of cancer in the world.
How about some people who took a crisis and turned it into an opportunity to serve?
Angela and Connor were splitting up when Connor was diagnosed with advanced AIDS (transfusion) and a massive bacterial infection that means certain death. He had maybe 3 months.(By the way, Angela is negative!). Connor had no one to take care of him - so Angela stayed. She refused to see him dying - wrote pages in her journals, visualized his recovery. He was as sick as any human could be for over a year, but Angela stuck to her guns. Even when he hit 130 pounds (from 240) she kept seeing his recovery. 2 YEARS later, he turned the corner. Now? He's alive and healthy as a mule.
My new friend Deb, has been taking care of her parents for almost nine years now. She's exhausted but still going. I know how she feels - I did the same thing for my folks. We were talking about how many people see their parents' aging as a crisis needing to be 'handled.' That's strange to us - we both saw our folks' decline as an opportunity to give back, a chance to say Thank You. (Note: Until you've done long term care-taking I don't think you can understand how much fortitude it takes to find that sense of opportunity. Far too few ever do find it.)
Then there's my friend Colin. There was an orphanage that needed funding badly, facing a bleak future for those kids. Colin saw an opportunity to change those kids' lives. He's contributing his time and intellect to Wisdom Note, a fabulous website where for $1 per week you can share the gift of inspirational Wisdom Notes based on fabulous books. Colin didn't wring his hands, call a meeting to discuss how to change the students' plight. He stepped up to the opportunity!
What do these people's choices have to do with business?
When it comes right down to it, whether in our business or personal lives, we choose what we see and how we respond. We are responsible for our attitude.
Want a business example? Take Nintendo. They were over a year behind Microsoft and Sony in the gaming market. That's the kiss of death in such a fast moving space - which is what everyone told the folks at Nintendo. I know the consultants who told them to back off and go another direction (not me!). But the Nintendo gang just knew there was an opportunity in that gaming market. They kept to their guns.
The Wii was launched 18 months after Microsoft XBox and Sony PS3. It surpassed both of their sales within a year to become the hottest seller and lead the market. Nintendo has never looked back - they just keep focusing forward, believing int that next opportunity.
There's no strategic methodology, no magic business formula to finding opportunity in a crisis.
Sure, there are ways to stimulate new thinking, brainstorm new approaches. I shared some of those yesterday. When it comes right down to it, there's only one sure way to find opportunity.
We choose to find it.
What a difference a year makes. Organizations aren’t just talking about IoT possibilities, it is now baked into their core business strategy. With IoT, billions of devices generating data from different companies on different networks around the globe need to interact. From efficiency to better customer insights to completely new business models, IoT will turn traditional business models upside down. In the new customer-centric age, the key to success is delivering critical services and apps wit...
May. 28, 2016 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,167
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
May. 28, 2016 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,407
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, will provide an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life ...
May. 28, 2016 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,962
SYS-CON Events announced today that MobiDev will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MobiDev is a software company that develops and delivers turn-key mobile apps, websites, web services, and complex software systems for startups and enterprises. Since 2009 it has grown from a small group of passionate engineers and business managers to a full-scale mobile software company with over 200 develope...
May. 28, 2016 07:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,630
SoftLayer operates a global cloud infrastructure platform built for Internet scale. With a global footprint of data centers and network points of presence, SoftLayer provides infrastructure as a service to leading-edge customers ranging from Web startups to global enterprises. SoftLayer's modular architecture, full-featured API, and sophisticated automation provide unparalleled performance and control. Its flexible unified platform seamlessly spans physical and virtual devices linked via a world...
May. 28, 2016 06:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,237
Companies can harness IoT and predictive analytics to sustain business continuity; predict and manage site performance during emergencies; minimize expensive reactive maintenance; and forecast equipment and maintenance budgets and expenditures. Providing cost-effective, uninterrupted service is challenging, particularly for organizations with geographically dispersed operations.
May. 28, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,098
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
May. 28, 2016 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,218
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
May. 28, 2016 04:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,178
SYS-CON Events announced today Object Management Group® has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 28, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,525
As cloud and storage projections continue to rise, the number of organizations moving to the cloud is escalating and it is clear cloud storage is here to stay. However, is it secure? Data is the lifeblood for government entities, countries, cloud service providers and enterprises alike and losing or exposing that data can have disastrous results. There are new concepts for data storage on the horizon that will deliver secure solutions for storing and moving sensitive data around the world. ...
May. 28, 2016 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,307
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device. For more information, please visit https://www.mangoapps.com/.
May. 28, 2016 02:30 AM EDT Reads: 813
The essence of data analysis involves setting up data pipelines that consist of several operations that are chained together – starting from data collection, data quality checks, data integration, data analysis and data visualization (including the setting up of interaction paths in that visualization). In our opinion, the challenges stem from the technology diversity at each stage of the data pipeline as well as the lack of process around the analysis.
May. 28, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,448
The IoTs will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and share the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the development proc...
May. 28, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,929
Designing IoT applications is complex, but deploying them in a scalable fashion is even more complex. A scalable, API first IaaS cloud is a good start, but in order to understand the various components specific to deploying IoT applications, one needs to understand the architecture of these applications and figure out how to scale these components independently. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Nara Rajagopalan is CEO of Accelerite, will discuss the fundamental architecture of IoT applications, ...
May. 28, 2016 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,257
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
May. 28, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 2,018
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
May. 28, 2016 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,429
In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Bruce Swann, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Adobe, will discuss how the Adobe Marketing Cloud can help marketers embrace opportunities for personalized, relevant and real-time customer engagement across offline (direct mail, point of sale, call center) and digital (email, website, SMS, mobile apps, social networks, connected objects). Bruce Swann has more than 15 years of experience working with digital marketing disciplines like web analytics, social med...
May. 28, 2016 12:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,337
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
May. 27, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,325
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...
May. 27, 2016 10:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,237
The IoT is changing the way enterprises conduct business. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, discuss how businesses can gain an edge over competitors by empowering consumers to take control through IoT. We'll cite examples such as a Washington, D.C.-based sports club that leveraged IoT and the cloud to develop a comprehensive booking system. He'll also highlight how IoT can revitalize and restore outdated business models, making them profitable...
May. 27, 2016 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,897