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Seize the opportunities in this economy
The chaos of a bad economy is synonymous with stress and disorder, but this doesn’t have to be the case. By knowing that you can adapt, and by seizing the opportunity presented by this chaos, you can avoid being dragged under. Jeremy Gutsche, author of the new book “Exploiting Chaos: 150 Ways to Spark Innovation During Times of Change” (Gotham, $20), gives us his tips on how to prosper when times are tough.
1 Learn the game and start to play. The seas of the economy are no longer calm. This will cause some ships to sink, but opportunity does not go away. People still buy things; they just become more particular about what they need. Adapt a mind set that enables you to identify all the ways that the world is changing, and learn about the new economy.
2 Look for opportunities. Many iconic companies were founded during periods of economic recession, including Disney, CNN, FedEx, MTV, GE, Microsoft and Apple. Periods of change give birth to a new set of market needs. Identify those needs, and you will enjoy remarkable success.
3 Reinvent your skill set. Viral videos, e-commerce, the blogosphere, e-mail, social media, crowd sourcing: These are the shifts toppling major corporations today. The sneaky thing is that these shifts are not happening overnight; rather, they are slowly creeping up on us. Use the economy as the perfect excuse to learn more about social media, develop a new talent, take that course you always wanted, or go back to school.
4 Become methodical in your approach. Engineers, designers and scientists have invested billions of dollars to perfect human creativity and the science of trying something new. If you’re trying to reinvent your role, transform your organization or hunt for a new career, develop a system of method to your madness.
5 Accept that the world never returns to normal. The troubled economy will cause outdated business models to crumble. There are no industries or professions immune to the effects of disruptive change. Our generation is fundamentally reinventing the way human beings interact. By embracing this change, it becomes easier to adapt and reinvent.