Learn to Spot and Create
To create opportunities, you need imagination and skills to abstract or generate ideas from concepts. These skills can be taught and one approach relies on making lists of everything and anything that could be improved in the world. Another approach is to avoid using the word “problem.“
The only difference between a problem and an opportunity is in how you decide to act. You can act in a way that makes a problem into a blooming business. However, describing things as opportunities rather than problems makes them “appear” more attractive. Most things can be looked upon as an opportunity. Naturally, there are exceptions, such as diseases and addictions. Then, you need to explore and twist and turn the opportunity into a feasible idea. What new insights and capabilities does the opportunity give you?
Actively listening to people helps you to spot opportunities. Often we are talking or thinking about what we are going to say next. Constantly waiting to talk again prevents us from listening. To create and spot opportunities, it is fruitful actively to listen to people. Often we try to create opportunities by attending events, twitter chats, and conferences, and meeting new people. The trick is to create opportunities from comments you read, blog you browse, and conversations you take part in or overhear.
Creating opportunities from everyday encounters means not only that the chances that you can create something worthwhile increase; it also means that the opportunities you create will be from things and activities that you have knowledge and understanding about. In this way, you can create an opportunity from something that used to be a problem in your life. Meeting other parents who have children that suffer from Aspergers Syndrome can lead to an opportunity to create a computer programme to help the further develop your children’s strengths.
In business, one of the best ways to create an opportunity is to listen to customers. They will provide you with ideas a new insight that you can turn into real opportunities. This approach is often used in business. But the same principle can be adapted to several other areas, such as schools, social services, and hospitals. Listening to people, really listening, will help you create opportunities. It will provide you with insights and ideas. Listening to friends and let them help you to create opportunities, listening is not a one woman/man game.
Create opportunities rather than wait for them eventually to find you. Steve Jobs, founder of Apple Inc. said “But innovation comes from people meeting up in the hallways or calling each other at 10:30 at night with a new idea, or because they realised something that shoots holes in how we’ve been thinking about a problem.”
Work on the Idea
It is important to remember that you seldom get the finished idea by asking customers or listening to friends. They can provide you with ideas that you can use as a starting point for your own thinking. If a car designer asks families about things they like to improve, they may say: ”we would like a mirror in the backseat so we can see what our kids are doing while we are driving.” This practical suggestion can be used to design a mirror. But you could explore different ideas about how to improve security related to attention when people are driving the car you are designing. This may lead to a new button on the front panel where you have the traffic signs. Thus, you need ways to intentionally deign and look for new breakthrough ideas. However, the initial spark can come from customers and from listening to people. For more ideas and tips, please read this an article on creating opportunities.
Trends and Future Worlds
Opportunities could be created by capitalizing on trends. Make a content analysis by studying and exploring certain aspect of messages found in books, journals, newspapers, private letters, and publications of political parties, reports, surveys, interviews, television, and the Internet. Try some Razor Blade Reading and collect the most leading and controversial magazines in your field of interest during three months.
It is advised not to use too much mainstream media. Instead, it is better to use regional papers and magazines. After collecting, scan the magazines and cut out with a razor the articles, which might intrigue you intuitively. Then try to discover patterns. There are some alternatives for Razor Blade Reading in the form of applications that captures information from web pages.
Photo; Abstract World by ddvaumba
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