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Bad News is Good News if You Do Something About It

Nonprofits are in the business of tackling tough challenges — addressing poverty, improving education, and protecting the planet. The passionate, smart, and good-hearted people who work in the sector are filled with optimism. This can make it uncomfortable for them to acknowledge a looming crisis.

At Applied Materials, we saw bad news as an opportunity for innovation or a strategic shift. We had a saying: “Good news is no news. No news is bad news. And bad news is good news — if you do something about it.”

Of course, it’s important to celebrate successes. But only up to a point. You can’t bury problems or refuse to address negative issues. To be successful, a leader must master the ability to recognize and respond to threats as well as opportunities.

Always listen for and even seek out signs of trouble — and either fix the problem or treat it as an opportunity for innovation or a strategic shift. If there’s no news, it’s probably because you haven’t heard the bad news yet!

Bad news is good news if you do something about it. It’s an opportunity for innovation or a strategic shift.

  • Do you welcome early warnings or are you ignoring them? 
  • Thinking of a recent problem within your organization, how could that have been turned into an opportunity?

Watch the video below to learn more about turning bad news into good news.

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