August 21

Opportunity Spotting

Despite “timing is everything” being a popular admonition, it’s wrong. It’s not timing alone that makes for creative or professional success. It’s also intuition. And the biggest element of creative intuition is the ability to recognize an opportunity when it presents itself.

It’s the ability to spot the aha moment. It’s the capacity to recognize when dots connect and puzzle pieces snap into place. But many people miss it because they aren’t even looking for it.

The unique challenge of doing complex, creative work is that focus must be both micro and macro. You must be able to zero in on a specific task and understand precisely what’s required to accomplish it, but you must also be able to zoom out and understand that task in the grand scope of the bigger problem you’re trying to solve.

When you become so fixated on the micro, you might miss the macro. You will overlook bigger patterns that begin to overlap or two converging problems that initially seemed like separate issues but now are one and the same.

As you consider your work today, take some time to zoom out and consider the problem you’re actually trying to solve. Have you learned anything recently that might change your perspective on the work? Are there any new patterns that are beginning to emerge? Has there been any new communication that might present an opportunity for you?

Don’t get so caught up in the micro that you miss big opportunities.

Most people miss opportunities because they haven’t learned to spot them.


As you zoom out from the work you’re doing, what opportu­ nities do you see?

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