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Looking for levers (4): creating opportunities

The last category of high-leverage activities are those that create entirely new opportunities.

In a sense, this is your main job, and it’s what you – as a leader, initiator and person-who-makes-things-happen – have been doing all along. It’s why there is a product that meets a need when before there was just a need. It’s why there’s a small group of people working together to solve problems, rather than just problems.

It’s possible that new opportunities will come to you simply as a product of time in the game: the longer you do what you do, the chances there are for new things to come up.

New opportunities may also come to you as a product of steady growth: new things become possible once you reach a certain size with a certain critical mass of users/clients/customers.

But mostly, you need to go looking. There isn’t a recipe for this, but here are three trusty ingredients:

  • Reading (or listening) widely – learning as much as you can about your field, about technology and innovation (i.e. new things entering the world), and just about anything else that interests you;
  • Trying things out – you only get a decent sense of what’s possible (and what isn’t) by having a go at things and playing;
  • Finding the others – connections with other people (who bring their own ideas, resources and networks) create possibilities faster than almost anything else opportunities. Talk (and write) about your work. Show up at events. Call people. Spend time with the people you seek to serve.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...