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10 Hidden Strategic Opportunities

Potential opportunities always surround leaders.  It is up to them to pounce on those or regret overlooking them when someone else takes advantage of them.

Leaders’ personal beliefs and assumptions often clash reality.  The trait is categorized as “confirmation bias” in Psychology, where individuals pick the data that supports their existing opinions and approaches and doubt information which defies their mindsets.  Leadership needs to develop themselves to the level to consider the slight hints of the opportunities surrounding them.

There are 10 hidden strategic opportunities that—exist in all businesses and geographies but—are often overlooked by the leadership due to personal biases.  These opportunities go unnoticed because they are often disguised in the form of anomalies and contradictions to leaders’ existing beliefs and assumptions.  It’s up to the leaders to control personal bias; explore anomalies; and develop capabilities to uncover and seize these 10 Hidden Strategic Opportunities before rivals do.

In this article, we will discuss the first 3 strategic opportunities.

Opportunity 1: Assuming a product already exists, but actually it doesn’t.

Most people assume that a certain product already exists.  Its only when an organization ventures into that segment—with a new value proposition—that people realize that there was a void there.  Such gaps are there in almost all industries, but only visionaries are able to recognize and capitalize on them—through innovation and creative product development.  A number of well-known inventions—e.g., tablet computers—were thought to have already existed, but actually didn’t.

For instance, Kate Brosnahan, accessories editor for Mademoiselle magazine, realized in the 1990s that the handbag market lacked stylish yet economical functional bags.  The market at the time was replete with expensive but impractical bags from top designers and functional bags deficient in style.  Kate left her job and founded Kate Spade LLC, with her partner Andy Spade.  Together they began creating fabric handbags which were practical as well as trendy.  Soon, their products started getting appreciation from customers, including media icons.

Opportunity 2: Customer Experience should be anything but strenuous, costly, or irritating (but most of the time it is).

Fragmented and delayed customer experience results in customer churn.  Annoyance caused by poor Customer Experience presents potential strategic opportunity to win customers by fixing it.  They are able to see the bigger picture and strive hard to relieve customers’ aggravation and offer exemplary Customer Experience.

For instance, creation of Netflix Inc. was the result of Reed Hastings having to pay a fine of $40 as late fee for a rented video cassette he had lost.  Leading organizations, such as Netflix, offer quality offerings and provide their customers seamless, quick, and pleasing experiences.

Opportunity 3. An item is often priced low only because not many people know about it.

Hidden merits of a location offers an opportunity for sharp people to invest in for future appreciation.  One of the reasons for inexpensive resources or items is the lack of their awareness and cognizance of their true potential among people.  When people recognize the potential of a property or resource, its price rises steeply.

Interested in learning more about the other hidden strategic opportunities?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on 10 Hidden Strategic Opportunities here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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About Mark Bridges

Mark Bridges is a Senior Director of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is your go-to resource for best practices in business management, covering management topics from Strategic Planning to Operational Excellence to Digital Transformation (view full list here). Learn how the Fortune 100 and global consulting firms do it. Improve the growth and efficiency of your organization by leveraging Flevy's library of best practice methodologies and templates. Prior to Flevy, Mark worked as an Associate at McKinsey & Co. and holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at the University of Chicago. You can connect with Mark on LinkedIn here.

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