Problem or opportunity? Depends on how you look at things.

In a conversation with a group of educators, we discussed some of the challenges that we had with promoting “innovation” in their schools (the idea of doing new and better things).  As one group started to share, they started with, “The problem we have…”, and quickly I said, “You mean…The opportunity we have…”

The demeanour of the conversation changed immediately from negative to positive.  Even when things seem to be a struggle, in the context of learning organizations, challenges should be welcomed as ways we can grow ourselves and others.

You cannot simply swap out the word, “problem” with “opportunity”; your thinking has to shift that way.  For example, a subtle change in the question, “When am I going to have time to do this?”, to, “How would I work this into my day in a meaningful way?”, changes the way we frame what is in front of us.  One question is looking for ways things won’t work, and the other is trying to find a way.

I have shared this picture before and it exemplifies that how we look at things, changes everything.


While some see the device as “distraction”, these children see “opportunity”.

A subtle change in language, can change how we move forward, and how we tackle the challenges  embrace the opportunities in front of us.

Source: George Couros