When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us
Alexander Graham Bell, 1847-1922
For four weeks the doors to all Danish elementary schools were closed, due to the conflict between teachers and their employers. Last week brought an end to the it and the kids are now back at school. The door to one school was closed, while for some the door to another was opened.
During the conflict, some of the parents brought the kids to job and grandparents did their best to lend a hand. I was contacted by one of the parents and asked if we at the CSE Lab could show our incubator to her daughter’s class and introduce them to the young startups. The thing is that we run an incubator for students at Copenhagen Business School (CBS). Here lots of students start their own business while studying. This gives them the opportunity to learn how to work with new ideas and how to take the right ones into action.
Therefore, we invited some of our creative startup teams to meet with the pupils to tell their startup stories. The kids had a great time here while being introduced to the startup environment. So, while the door to one school was closed, the door to another was opened for them. A school where you learn some of it by reading the books and the rest by taking the ideas to action.
I find it interesting when people see an opportunity and act on it. Carsten Stendevad (former CitiGroup and McKinsey, now CEO for ATP, one of the largest pension investors in Europe) recently said to a Danish newspaper, “I work hard and many people do that. Along the way, I’ve met people who helped me. Some of the opportunities I was given – and I took them. Some of the opportunities I created myself. When people tell their story in biographies, it sounds as if they followed a master plan. In my case, that would be a false story”.
So, Stendevad builds his career and makes his way opportunity by opportunity. Likewise the mother and the class saw an opportunity and grasped the chance for new inspiration.
When working with opportunities one must repeatedly ask oneself the questions: What can I do? What do I want to do? How can I bring the opportunies that I have right now to action? And which door must be closed to open another?