STRATEGIC NARRATIVE INSIGHTS
The Meaning Of Your Opportunity Story
I would argue that telling the story of a clear opportunity is essential for your company to thrive.
But what do we mean by opportunity story?
A bit of research about the word opportunity itself might help you tell the right opportunity story.
If you look up the definition of the word opportunity on vocabulary.com, you will find this:
“When the situation is right for you to do something you're interested in doing, you have the opportunity to do it. The word comes from the Latin phrase, “ob portum veniens "coming toward a port", which refers to a favorable wind blowing ships into the harbor. So think of an opportunity as something a good wind blew your way.”
First - An opportunity story shows us a possible path towards something we desire. The conditions are favorable for reaching success with less risk. For example, in 1959, the president of Volvo wanted to improve car safety and envisioned a possible way to do it: the three-point seatbelt.
Second - An opportunity story tells us why and how our beliefs and behaviors need to change if we want to get to a better desire state or “harbor”. The metaphor of a journey and an adventure means that there is a transformation happening.
Third - An opportunity story also tells us that success is not guaranteed. The path remains uncertain. Take Netflix, for example. In the early days, CEO and co-founder Reed Hastings wanted to change how you could enjoy movies. But the opportunity to transform the entertainment industry almost vanished when the company went almost bankrupt in 2000, only three years after it was founded because it didn’t have enough subscribers. You may have a solution, but you still need people to adopt it. That’s never guaranteed.
Fourth - Most important. For who is this opportunity? Do we mean the opportunity that our company is pursuing for its own benefit? Or do we mean the opportunity that we are pursuing for everyone around? If you focus on the latter, you will serve your community, everyone. When you do this, everyone wants you to win and participate in your success. You can call them to join like a movement would call people to arms. That’s a more powerful kind of opportunity.