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Turning Problems into Opportunities

Monday, November 05, 2012   By Mike Reddy


"In the middle of difficulty, lies opportunity" – Albert Einstein
As a business coach I have seen time and time again how these words have huge relevance when it comes to small business development. Businesses face many challenges - the trick is how you choose to turn each challenge into an opportunity.

Many managers suffer by responding to problems on an individual basis. This approach may cause you to miss the bigger picture.

From a business coaching perspective I have observed that the best managers see problems as a reflection of their business environment. Problems are the system's way of shedding light on areas that need improvement.

These managers address the immediate issues, while exploring the important insights the problem offers, instigating innovation and identifying new customer needs.

Procrastination is the pitfall of successfully converting challenge into opportunity. The sooner you address the problem, the sooner you can transform it into opportunity.

Swift action ignites positive energy into the situation, bringing about other possibilities.

Apply lateral thinking when faced with a challenge - sometimes simply viewing a problem from a different angle can lead you to a better solution.

Usually when presented with a problem, people tend to work toward removing the cause. This can often be the biggest mistake. Removing the cause can create a whole new set of problems.

Innovative thinking is the key to shifting perceptions and opening doors. Create a culture of business innovation starting at your most basic level of employees. Let the flow continue upward until it reaches higher management.

Here are my business coaching steps to solve problems:

  1. Convert the problem into a challenge
  2. Challenge team members to offer creative solutions
  3. Engage in collaborative idea generation
  4. Evaluate and develop ideas
  5. Implement the idea

With these steps, each problem can be viewed as the gateway to creative possibility and improvement.

Every challenge offers the promise of new opportunity. Like they say, when life gives you lemons...

Mike Reddy is a Chartered Accountant, business coach and advisor helping businesses in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Gold Coast to easily increase their profits and cash flow. He is currently President of the North Sydney Chamber of Commerce, a Regional Councillor for Sydney North East and a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Sydney leadership team. As well as advising businesses, Mike presents business development seminars and webinars and is regularly contacted by the media to comment on small business matters. You can connect with him on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.