|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.
For IoT to grow as quickly as analyst firms’ project, a lot is going to fall on developers to quickly bring applications to market. But the lack of a standard development platform threatens to slow growth and make application development more time consuming and costly, much like we’ve seen in the mobile space. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mike Weiner, Product Manager of the Omega DevCloud with KORE Telematics Inc., discussed the evolving requirements for developers as IoT matures and conducted a live demonstration of how quickly application development can happen when the need to comply wit...
Jul. 31, 2015 08:45 AM EDT Reads: 308
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Architect for the Internet of Things and Intelligent Systems, described how to revolutionize your archit...
Jul. 30, 2015 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,404
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
Jul. 30, 2015 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 460
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with APIs within the next year.
Jul. 30, 2015 02:30 PM EDT Reads: 114
The Internet of Everything (IoE) brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before – transforming information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom. IoE creates new capabilities, richer experiences, and unprecedented opportunities to improve business and government operations, decision making and mission support capabilities.
Jul. 30, 2015 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 276
Growth hacking is common for startups to make unheard-of progress in building their business. Career Hacks can help Geek Girls and those who support them (yes, that's you too, Dad!) to excel in this typically male-dominated world. Get ready to learn the facts: Is there a bias against women in the tech / developer communities? Why are women 50% of the workforce, but hold only 24% of the STEM or IT positions? Some beginnings of what to do about it! In her Opening Keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Sandy Carter, IBM General Manager Cloud Ecosystem and Developers, and a Social Business Evangelist, d...
Jul. 30, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,061
In his keynote at 16th Cloud Expo, Rodney Rogers, CEO of Virtustream, discussed the evolution of the company from inception to its recent acquisition by EMC – including personal insights, lessons learned (and some WTF moments) along the way. Learn how Virtustream’s unique approach of combining the economics and elasticity of the consumer cloud model with proper performance, application automation and security into a platform became a breakout success with enterprise customers and a natural fit for the EMC Federation.
Jul. 30, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,164
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Jul. 29, 2015 03:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,277
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect their organization.
Jul. 29, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,186
It is one thing to build single industrial IoT applications, but what will it take to build the Smart Cities and truly society-changing applications of the future? The technology won’t be the problem, it will be the number of parties that need to work together and be aligned in their motivation to succeed. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jason Mondanaro, Director, Product Management at Metanga, discussed how you can plan to cooperate, partner, and form lasting all-star teams to change the world and it starts with business models and monetization strategies.
Jul. 28, 2015 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,765
Converging digital disruptions is creating a major sea change - Cisco calls this the Internet of Everything (IoE). IoE is the network connection of People, Process, Data and Things, fueled by Cloud, Mobile, Social, Analytics and Security, and it represents a $19Trillion value-at-stake over the next 10 years. In her keynote at @ThingsExpo, Manjula Talreja, VP of Cisco Consulting Services, discussed IoE and the enormous opportunities it provides to public and private firms alike. She will share what businesses must do to thrive in the IoE economy, citing examples from several industry sectors.
Jul. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,043
There will be 150 billion connected devices by 2020. New digital businesses have already disrupted value chains across every industry. APIs are at the center of the digital business. You need to understand what assets you have that can be exposed digitally, what their digital value chain is, and how to create an effective business model around that value chain to compete in this economy. No enterprise can be complacent and not engage in the digital economy. Learn how to be the disruptor and not the disruptee.
Jul. 27, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,032
Akana has released Envision, an enhanced API analytics platform that helps enterprises mine critical insights across their digital eco-systems, understand their customers and partners and offer value-added personalized services. “In today’s digital economy, data-driven insights are proving to be a key differentiator for businesses. Understanding the data that is being tunneled through their APIs and how it can be used to optimize their business and operations is of paramount importance,” said Alistair Farquharson, CTO of Akana.
Jul. 27, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 328
Business as usual for IT is evolving into a "Make or Buy" decision on a service-by-service conversation with input from the LOBs. How does your organization move forward with cloud? In his general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Paul Maravei, Regional Sales Manager, Hybrid Cloud and Managed Services at Cisco, discusses how Cisco and its partners offer a market-leading portfolio and ecosystem of cloud infrastructure and application services that allow you to uniquely and securely combine cloud business applications and services across multiple cloud delivery models.
Jul. 27, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,905
The enterprise market will drive IoT device adoption over the next five years. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Greenough, an analyst at BI Intelligence, division of Business Insider, analyzed how companies will adopt IoT products and the associated cost of adopting those products. John Greenough is the lead analyst covering the Internet of Things for BI Intelligence- Business Insider’s paid research service. Numerous IoT companies have cited his analysis of the IoT. Prior to joining BI Intelligence, he worked analyzing bank technology for Corporate Insight and The Clearing House Payment...
Jul. 26, 2015 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,576
"Optimal Design is a technology integration and product development firm that specializes in connecting devices to the cloud," stated Joe Wascow, Co-Founder & CMO of Optimal Design, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 25, 2015 02:00 PM EDT Reads: 396
SYS-CON Events announced today that CommVault has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. A singular vision – a belief in a better way to address current and future data management needs – guides CommVault in the development of Singular Information Management® solutions for high-performance data protection, universal availability and simplified management of data on complex storage networks. CommVault's exclusive single-platform architecture gives companies unp...
Jul. 25, 2015 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,959
Electric Cloud and Arynga have announced a product integration partnership that will bring Continuous Delivery solutions to the automotive Internet-of-Things (IoT) market. The joint solution will help automotive manufacturers, OEMs and system integrators adopt DevOps automation and Continuous Delivery practices that reduce software build and release cycle times within the complex and specific parameters of embedded and IoT software systems.
Jul. 25, 2015 12:15 PM EDT Reads: 468
"ciqada is a combined platform of hardware modules and server products that lets people take their existing devices or new devices and lets them be accessible over the Internet for their users," noted Geoff Engelstein of ciqada, a division of Mars International, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Jul. 25, 2015 12:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,539
Internet of Things is moving from being a hype to a reality. Experts estimate that internet connected cars will grow to 152 million, while over 100 million internet connected wireless light bulbs and lamps will be operational by 2020. These and many other intriguing statistics highlight the importance of Internet powered devices and how market penetration is going to multiply many times over in the next few years.
Jul. 25, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,492