A resourceful person can see the opportunity when others only see obstacles.
In a world that is changing faster than ever, and in a business environment that is more competitive than ever, today’s employers are facing challenges like never before. The implications on the workplace are profound:
- More innovation is required just to keep up
- Product life cycles are shrinking so businesses need to be vigilant and nimble
- Low cost competitors like Amazon can reduce one’s market share in a moment
- Customers have very high expectations and are more difficult to please
- There are more problems (challenges) to be solved as well as new opportunities
So, it comes as no surprise that employers are emphasizing resourcefulness, problem solving, creativity, and innovative thinking in their recruiting. Thankfully, these qualities can be learned and they are found in all personalities, from the highly creative to the analytical.
Generally speaking, employers benefit from resourcefulness in a variety of ways:
- Increasing revenues: creating new products/services, improving customer loyalty, increasing market share through product enhancements, improvements to sales effectiveness, etc. If you think about it, all of the products we enjoy today were invented in the past by a person or team. Some, like the inventors of the printing press, light bulb, radio, automobile, phone, steam turbines, computer, and vaccinations, were responding to an existing need. They were incredible problem solvers! Others enter a market because they believe they’ve created a better product or value proposition (food and restaurant chains come to mind).
- Reducing costs/improving efficiency: discovering new ways to produce products or services at lower cost and become more efficient. These savings, too, result in higher profits.
- Solving day-to-day problems in each of our jobs: no matter what position we hold, unexpected challenges arise. Our business unexpectedly slows. A key employee leaves the company. Raw material prices rise. A co-worker is spreading rumors or missing deadlines. A supplier delays delivery. A client is upset over product performance. Students disrupt the classroom. We fall behind due to a long illness. Stuff happens! Do we cower in fear or embrace the situation using our creativity, analytical, and relational skills?
Is it any wonder why resourceful people are so highly valued in the workplace?
So, what are the qualities of resourceful people? Here are some descriptors: creative, analytical, objective, problem solvers, decisive, visionary, courageous, resilient, determined, opportunistic, skillful, ingenious, enterprising, discerning, and solutions minded. Isn’t it a wonderfully diverse list! Anyone can become resourceful!
Parents, don’t be fooled into thinking that just because your children are strong academically that they’re good problem solvers. It’s not always the case—just ask any employer. But, you can help build resourcefulness by encouraging your children to solve problems themselves and involve them in family decisions like planning vacations, charitable giving, managing a tight budget, or choosing a college. So often, we instinctively tell our children what to do rather than to first hear their thoughts and potential solutions (e.g., “How do you plan to solve the problem?). By first asking for their ideas before sharing yours, you’ll build a quality that will serve them well in life.
Next week’s topic: Positive Attitude. Stay tuned!