WE LIVE IN a time of rapid change. Businesses
and jobs—such as professional typists, video
store clerks, switchboard operators, file
clerks—are going out of existence. New ones are
coming in, but probably not as quickly as the
ones going out.
You need to be open to ways you can change
your company to keep it relevant and target new
customers. It is vital that your company provide
products and services that take advantage of
growth in new technologies and from demographic changes.
Here are a few ways to discover an opportunity or two.
•Notice what problems people frequently
complain about or problems that you encounter,
such as products that are not, or no longer, on
the market. Products withdrawn from the market often still need service and parts. As the
number of businesses offering these services
shrinks, opportunities can arise for those willing to step in.
• Track demographic and social trends. This
could lead to serving particular ethnic markets,
age groups or regional interests, as well as filling
needs that may arise due to the type of tourism
your area attracts or clusters of the types of
industries in your area.
• Capitalize on new technology that disrupts
existing ways of making and distributing things.
For example, can you take advantage of new
technologies, like ;D printing, robotics or
drones? Are there ways in which you can directly
use these technologies to provide a service,
repair items or consult and train others to use
• Think about what needs come about as a
result of new laws regulating those technologies.
New regulations create a need for consultants
and trainers knowledgeable in these areas,
resulting in new products and services.
•Networking remains a constant need.
Seek out people who have insights and contacts
within your industry. Participate in trade associations, professional societies, social media
sites and/or social media groups associated
with your industry. Select several to participate
in, and make yourself an asset to the group. As
you become recognized for your expertise, your
opportunities will grow. C
Creating new opportunities
COSTCO MEMBER Denny Long has
spent more than ;; years working as a
human resources leader for Fortune ;;;
companies. In his book Managing Genius
(Franklin Green Publishing, ;;;;; not available at Costco), he says, “Five essentials are
foundational for a high-performing team.
These create a shared mindset for how your
people connect and interact with you and
the team.” Here are those essentials.
Be captain of the ship. Why should
your employees pay attention to you? This
is your team, and you have responsibility
and influence to delegate work and direct
people. Teach your people how you intend
to manage so they know what to expect.
Value people. Show respect for and
value every member of your team, independent of their job title or current performance. This builds long-lasting
commitment beyond today’s work.
Behave like an adult. Adult behavior is
the one ingredient that drives every aspect
of the work culture. A “managing genius”
builds and leads an adult-minded work
culture based on maturity and personal
Take an individual approach. See your
employees as individuals. Recognize
their unique desires and abilities so you
can manage how to bring out their best.
Fine-tune your managing approach to
the situation and the individual. This
creates a culture based on performance
Facilitate workplace relationships.
People come to work expecting a col-league-friendly work community. Social
connections at work are a strong indicator
of job satisfaction. However, community
does not just happen. Shape and guide the
work culture to create ways to build rapport and affinity. Set the tone and establish the right balance.
For more information from Long, go
Be a great manager
PAUL AND SARAH
Paul and Sarah Edwards
are the authors of ;;
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