Emerging Trends: Crisis = Opportunity

April 22, 2009Sparxoo

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Rebuilding from the Ground Up

By Ethan Lyon, Senior Writer

Definition
John F. Kennedy once noted that the Chinese character for the word, “crisis” has two brush strokes: one stands for danger, the other opportunity. As of late, the media have been pouring over the crumbling political, economic and social structures of the U.S. and international countries. Though the seeming collapse of our home and workplace might be disheartening, through the ashes we have the opportunity to rebuild anew.

Many have drawn parallels with the economy of today with the economy of the Great Depression. It was a time when America needed heroes (DC Comics, 1934), when we needed personal security (Allstate Insurance, 1931), a positive image of ourselves (Revlon, 1932) even simple pleasures (Sara Lee, 1939). No matter what the economic outlook may be, business leaders will always innovate to meet the needs of the time.

Spin
Critical Juncture—These are defining moments in our history. Those after us will judge our decisions based on our merit, courage and capacity to think and create without borders. In the 11th hour, we will prove our worth through innovative ideas and the motivation and focus to execute them.
Clean Slate—Through the ashes, there is great possibility and room for experimentation and innovation. We are a nation of dreamers and do-ers—combined is an opportunity to emerge from this crisis stronger and wiser than before. We have an opportunity to change the status quo in a major way. Our minds are open to new ideas, to thinkers with a fresh perspective because convention has lead us to this critical juncture.
Soul Searching—When confronted with fear, particularly in careers, we are challenged by change. We are taking precautionary measures, like putting in those extra hours, or deciding whether job insecurity is so great it’s time to move on. When faced with fear, we are confronted with the reality of life.

Examples
Bankruptcy—More often than not, bankruptcy has serious negative overtones. Of course it does… it means you or your business are losing everything. Instead of thinking the glass is half empty, think of bankruptcy as a fresh start—a clean slate to start anew. It is a second chance to begin a life without debt. Though there are many restrictions on those people or businesses that claim bankruptcy, it’s a second chance nonetheless—an opportunity to do better.
Eco-Friendly Stocks—Let’s begin with the problem: the environment is in crisis. Next, Barack Obama takes the oath of office. As promised on the campaign trail, Obama delivers on his word to fix the economy with a stimulus package. Included in the stimulus package are “green jobs.” More green jobs translates into a larger green market. A growing green market equals opportunity. Thus, crisis=opportunity.
Overqualified—The LeBlanc family exemplifies a fate many Americans face in an economic slump. Rob LeBlanc, formerly a restaurant manager, lost his job from the challenging economy. He was forced to work as a pizza delivery person to get by—to pay for the bare necessities for his family. Like many Americans, the LeBlanc family is going to make many sacrifices to just get by. We are challenged to work outside our boundaries, as we struggle to stay above water.

Key Words
Restructuring, Rebirth, New Direction, Innovation, Possibility

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