Opportunity Doesn't Knock
Who said "opportunity knocks?" I don't know, either, but there's a good chance that they're wrong. Opportunity never knocks - opportunities are created.
And creating opportunities means creating and taking advantage of great ideas.
More easily said than done, for sure, but organizations that are adept at continuous improvement are also adept at creating opportunities through new and/or improved products and services.
It's a fact that efficient organizations are more agile than inefficient ones. The agile organization is able to respond to trends and fill gaps in the marketplace more quickly because they have efficient processes and practices. This is because their continuous improvement practices include the generation of ideas for product and service improvements.
And although ideas may be plentiful, only one out of every 20 will be good enough to make it to market. And only one in ten products is successful. This is why efficient organizations keep on top of their game with research and development, so that they are ready to take advantage of opportunities when that one great idea materializes.
Agile organizations also understand their customers' needs and requirements. This is because they invest in new product and service research and development and, at the same time, they take customer complaints and suggestions very seriously. Together with R&D and customer views, they also listen to and incorporate ideas into new products and services from their suppliers, employees, and competitors.
Why do agile organizations do this? Because ideas can come from anywhere.
From looking at what the competition is doing and determining how to do it better to benchmarking and reverse engineering (did you know that Ford assessed 400 features of competitors' products and either copied, adapted or enhanced more than 300 of them to build the Ford Taurus?), opportunities can come from anywhere.
Even a very simple technique called perceptual mapping can generate a brilliant idea.
Next time you think that opportunity knocks, remember that it only knocks for those that are in the business of creating opportunities in the first place.