“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”. Albert Einstein’s statement is an exceptionally noble approach, and exemplifies that business potential may indeed lie in its threats and weaknesses. For the business to prosper and grow entrepreneurs must realize that regardless of how successful they become they will still be far below their optimum potential, and must therefore meticulously find and exploit their enterprise’s true potential. This requires a shift in paradigm thinking and a congruent change in the entrepreneur’ attitude towards the dangers and weaknesses of their business.
Converting limitations and disadvantages into opportunities results in amazing outcomes at every step in the operation of a business and of its performance outlook. Decisions are made and actions are taken based on the hard reality of the business not obscured by tomorrow’s challenges or the lure of the urgencies of the present.
While not every business has a hidden potential and can develop limitations and restraints into opportunities, businesses that have no potential or fail to search for their potential cannot grow or survive. So, how can you unearth the hidden potential in your business and develop its opportunities?
You start by asking yourself questions like:
What you are fearful of, what do you see as a danger to your business, and how can you use it as an opportunity?
What are the restraints and weakness that contribute to the vulnerability of your business, hinder its full effectiveness, and hold down its propensity for profitable results?
What are the inconsistencies in your business?
Most entrepreneurs are fully aware of the restraints, vulnerabilities, and limitations of their businesses but seldom ask questions. They are likely to believe that nothing can be done to change their circumstances. They fail to realize that to convert restraint into opportunity requires innovation with flexibility and diversity to exploit the new possibility by investing in its development.
While inconsistencies are a way of life for growing businesses, chronic imbalances can drain the business of its productive resources way beyond any results they can produce. If the imbalance in resource allocations is in support activities or control measures, the remedy is to cut out whatever causes the imbalance. Concurrently, identifying the area with excessively large productive effort often indicates a major unused potential and requires major changes in the nature and structure of that area of the business.
We traditionally identify areas of inconsistencies and imbalance with excessively large productive resources incapable of producing sufficient outcomes, within the business in the marketing and research & development areas. The cure in these areas is determined by careful analysis followed by radical redefinition of the business in its entirety or integration into new products or services with adequate utilization of the resources and efforts needed.
More serious cases of imbalance we encounter are companies that are the wrong size- typically too small- for the market they are serving or for the management they need. For these cases a unified business review and performance program that converts the disparity between the business size and the management it requires by scaling the management down to the size appropriate to the needs of the business.
Needless to say, that unearthing and attaining the potential of a business is psychologically taxing on all concerned and requires great effort from the various aspects of the business and its management.
Therefore the role of an external coach or consultant is of paramount importance in the soul searching process of the organization and in the unearthing of its hidden treasures that are disguised as imbalances in the form of a weaknesses or a threats.
Entrepreneurs need to work systematically on maximizing opportunities by looking within not without! And by asking questions like; Where are the imbalances in our business, and what are the opportunities for the greatest economic outcomes? They can start to maximize opportunities by focusing the available resources on the most attractive possibilities and devoting them to obtaining the greatest possible results. This followed by successful business planning based on exploiting imbalances and maximizing its prospects by uncovering its potential and developing real opportunities that can increase the propensity of the business for survival and growth.