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"There are no problems, only opportunities." ... is that true?

Are you tired of those who pounce whenever you use the word 'problem'? Has the All-Too-Smug corrected you as they quip, 'there are no problems, only opportunities'? Okay, I get it; it is clever. Unfortunately, it is not accurate. Problems only convert into opportunities when their solutions are present. Simply put, opportunities are solution dependent. However (and this is the point), opportunities are not problem-dependent.

Equating problems with opportunities is a mistake, as it obscures the intrinsic (and independent) value of solutions. For example, most organizations fail to identify their most immediate and impactful improvement opportunity merely because it has yet to be called out to them as 'a problem'. So here goes…

Nearly all organizations fail to recognize the disconnect between the desk and the dealer. This divide is a result of the perspective variance that exists between the dealer and those who are desking deals on his/her behalf. It is borne of the fact that those with the most comprehensive view of the value of a deal (those with P&L familiarity) have minimal access to customers. In contrast, those (on the desk) with the greatest access to customers have (often by design) an incomplete understanding of the true value of each deal. The performance improvement (increases in sales volumes and closing percentages) available when bridging this gap is quantifiable and directly proportional to the knowledge disparity.

I would encourage those interested in improvement to explore this 'opportunity,' while those disinterested can await its inevitable emergence as 'a problem.' The solution is the same; only the results will vary.

-Tom Murphy


Lotpop inc.


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