Finding opportunities from outside a project

Roger La Salle
December 5, 2012

Often those of us involved in a project are simply too close to daily issues to see the potential for real value-adding innovations and opportunities or indeed to appreciate some of the things our organisations and people do really well.

Even in the case of project plans, which seldom play-out as forecast, the so-called independent ‘third eye’ to review the plan before it is finalised is always a good idea.

The transfer catalyst of the opportunity matrix thinking platform asks us to see if we can transfer this so called ‘third eye’ used on project plans to other aspects of our business.

Following this idea, we may implement a formal ‘third eye’ across the organisation on a periodic basis.

Developing the ‘third eye’

Network with a group of your peers and allow them a tour of your organisation to review in their own minds what you are doing and how you go about your project.

This does not have to be limited to just the physical or operational aspects of your project but can include your communication technique, your project team’s presentation and manner, and even the overall presentation of your workplace.

For example, would you prefer to attend a dentist or a restaurant whose premises were beautifully maintained with lovely gardens as you enter, or one where the gardens were a mangled mess with absolutely no interest in presentation at all being shown by the business operator? Obviously, the clean and beautifully presented premise inspires confidence.

With your network now briefed, conduct a tour and ask each person to write down three things that they individually observe that you do really well. Also ask them to write down three things that they believe are lacking or need attention and can be done better.

Thus we now have 3+3 innovation initiatives we can explore in an endeavour to innovate or improve our business.

A ‘third eye’ tour need only take a few minutes and will provide invaluable independent third party insights. More importantly, it will assist in identifying your strengths and weaknesses.

This simple third eye can be a real innovation eye-opener and can be done at no cost at all.

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Roger La Salle
Roger La Salle is the creator of the Matrix Thinking technique. He specialises in innovation, opportunity and business development, and speaks at international events on those topics. He is the author of four books, director and former CEO of the Innovation Centre of Victoria (INNOVIC) as well as a number of companies both in Australian and overseas.
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