- Think Different
How to Turn Bad News into Good
Courtesy: S. Stalin, Project Director Essar Projects (I) Ltd
How many of us read the newspaper daily, and cluck our tongues at the continual stream of bad news, crises, disaster, looming disaster and violence? Why do we buy in to the untested and I believe wrong assumption of editors and publishers, that bad news sells more papers and gets more eyeballs than good? [A friend of mine, a journalist, wanted to write up a charity project I run, but said his editor said no, he wanted scandal, not do-gooders!].
Here is a suggestion for a brain exercise that can transform bad news into good. We cannot change the editorial policy of the Herald Tribune, New York Times or Wall Street Journal. But we can change the way we USE the news.
1. Read, say, the Financial Times. Find the bad news stories.
2. For each, think about how they can be transformed from a bad-news crisis story into a good-news business opportunity.
3. Make this a permanent HABIT. Do it daily. You will be surprised at how many fine change-the-world ideas emerge from a constant stream of negative articles.
Just to make the point, here are some examples from Wednesdays Financial Times:
* Only rebalancing will revive Britain’s precarious economy (Martin Wolf). Britons are in hock, and have overspent; they can’t resume spending, but unless they do, the British economy will remain weak.
Opportunity: A consulting service for individual families that does turnaround plans for them, consolidates their debt, and makes them financially sound, something many families cannot do for themselves. It could be government-sponsored.
Good result: Financially healthy families may feel more optimistic, better organized to resume spending.
* IMF to weigh bank surcharges. IMF wants banks to increase their capital.
Opportunity: Money is going to get scarce. Banks will lend less. They are already leery about lending. Start a service helping CFOs stretch their cash, and find unique creative ways to get working capital.
* IAE says oil demand will rise to record levels in 2010?
Opportunity: anything and everything that can conserve fuel, electricity, energy, or create new forms.
* Twitter starts ads.
Opportunity: How can you leverage Twitter for clever creative advertising?
* Mongolia rail push. Mongolia’s government wants to build 5,000 km. of rail lines.
Opportunity: If you have any knowledge about railroads and related services: here’s your chance.
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