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The LightBox Collaborative was conceived in a moment of sheer crisitunity.

This term made its way into our pop culture lexicon through an episode of The Simpsons. When Lisa explains that in Chinese languages, the same character is used for both crisis and opportunity, Homer replies, “Yes! Crisitunity!” (OK, linguists out there may quibble, but we’ll go with Lisa on this one.)

This word has since been adapted in the nonprofit and political arenas to refer to a critical situation that presents an opportunity to galvanize and mobilize public support and consequent action.

In the early stage of my consulting practice, I had my own crisitunity—a moment that required mobilization and action. I was lucky enough to be offered many opportunities, and found myself constantly saying “yes!” to opportunity.

I had amassed such a fantastic pile of opportunities (yay!), but was running out of hours in the day to do them all well (boo!). On the one hand I wanted to enjoy this fabled “work-life balance” I’d heard so much about. On the other hand I didn’t want to pass up any great projects coming my way or, as Seth Godin puts it, become paralyzed by unlimited opportunity. I was like a hungry dog with two bones.

My expansive use of “yes” helped me realize that I needed to expand something else: my team. I’m now lucky enough to have a talented group of collaborators that I love working with. Together, we are better poised to leverage opportunities for our clients than we would each be on our own.

This spirit of crisitunity that has proven so catalytic to the formation of the LightBox Collaborative is also woven through the work we do. We know all too well that feeling of crisis that our clients might be facing. Whether it’s a shift in the external landscape or internal changes afoot, we’ve each faced similar moments.

We like to think that our work is living proof that those pinch point moments can actually be our finest hour. We transform those moments of crisis into opportunity for organizational reflection, strategic pivoting, and new idea generation. It’s through crisitunity that the LightBox Collaborative can help you find ways to expand your reach and your resources too.

(image courtesy Flickr user Lorianne DiSabato, Creative Commons)