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Lemons & Lemonade Ė Crisis and the Disguised Opportunities

Lemons & Lemonade Ė Crisis and the Disguised Opportunities

2016-03_PBC Group_limao e limonada
ďWhen life gives you lemons, make lemonadeĒ. That is the main message of the book “Disguised Opportunities” written by Mr. Carlos Domingos.

The author makes a compiled from real life stories of companies and main executives that took advantage of their problems and adversities to survive the hard times, such as crises periods, tough competition, customer complaints, lack of resources, personal and team problems, mistakes and failures, pain and suffering in hard situations and difficulties in the market in general.

According to the author, there are ten ways to identify disguised opportunities:

1)†Identify similar cases: learn from the mistakes or the success measures of others. It does not need to be from the same market segment.

2)†Do not follow blindly, i.e., without a critical analysis, the theorists and their rules: the context changes and may be possible that the rule or model does not apply.

3)†Be innovative, that is, doing something better than has been done before.

4)†Be able to change your mind and direction: the market changes!

5)†Be actually present when you are in one place: pay attention to what happens around you – at home, at work, on the street.

6)†Knowing, and understanding, ask and listen to your customer. What does he really want?

7) Be persistent, do not give up: every company goes through difficult periods.

8)†Do not settle in times of prosperity: Toyota has the practice of creating fictitious adverse scenarios to get people out of their comfort zone and stimulate creativity continuously.

9)†Love what you do. Who loves what does is more dedicated, work harder, and identify disguised opportunities easier.

10)†To believe that you are able.

I was newly graduated and working in a food processor multinational. I have never forgotten the speech of the companyís president for all employees in the year-end party. He said we had to continue working and seeking goals despite economic adversity of the moment. It was the 90’s, who lived at that time, understand what it means. The period between 80’s and 90’s in Brazil is called in economic literature as the “lost decade.” Creativity, persistence and faith of the directors were determining factors for the company to continue its operations in Brazil.

Going back to the lemonade expression, it must be to be done with high professionalism, with technique, with performance measures to be sustainable in the long run. At the moment we are living in Brazil, you cannot be try to do in the amateur way or on a trial and error basis. There is hardly room for error and the risk needs to be adequately assessed.

Have you already thought in the opportunities that are disguised within your company or your life?

Have you thought about reinventing, identify problems, expand your vision and realize about the substitute products or services to yours, that is, those that your customers are actually consuming? Have you thought about identify new solutions for customerís important demands? Have you thought about intelligently rationalize your processes, reduce losses and waste, increase the productivity of your staff and your business?

DOMINGOS, Carlos. Oportunidades DisfarÁadas. 1 ed. Rio de Janeiro: Editora Sextante, 2009

The book is available free of charges at:

Article author: Beatriz Del Fiol

Food Engineer, Specialist in Industrial Management, Specialist in Quality & Productivity, attending Master Degree course in Pronut-USP. Quality Management Systems and Food Safety Consultant. HACCP auditor certified by ASQ (American Society for Quality), Partner of PBC Ė Food & Beverages Consultants.

About the author / pbcgroup