The Covid-19 pandemic has affected us on all levels, from the personal (how we live and work) to the professional (how companies interact with their customers, how customers choose and buy products and services, how companies deliver them). Supply chains). The effects of the coronavirus are expected to transform the way business is done in just five years. In addition, the health crisis will have a lasting impact on customer needs. For all these reasons, innovation is critical.
Yes, we are witnessing a time of great change. But also great opportunities. It will be up to each business and entrepreneur to seize these opportunities or fall behind.
At the executive level, senior managers primarily focus on maintaining business continuity, especially at its core. Executives must weigh cutting costs, boosting productivity, and implementing safeguards against innovation-driven growth.
Unsurprisingly, investments in innovation have also been affected. For many top executives, innovation-related initiatives are expected to return once the world has stabilised, the core business is secure, and the path forward is clearer. However, the possibility of developing new growth should not be ruled out since taking advantage of the opportunities generated by the crisis will be an essential step to move forward.
Many companies prioritise innovation in four fundamental areas: anchoring the core business, looking for known opportunities, conserving cash and minimising risk, and waiting until “there is more clarity.”
However, in times of crisis, the most urgent actions that should be considered are the following:
- Adapt to meet changing customer needs.
- Quickly identify and address new areas of opportunity created by the pandemic.
- Reassess the portfolio of innovation initiatives and ensure resources are appropriately allocated.
- Build the foundations for post-crisis growth and remain competitive in the recovery period.
Many companies will not get ahead if they operate as before. What made it possible to achieve success before will not help during or after the crisis. Customers can have difficulty paying. Sales channels change radically to adapt to new restrictions, etc. The regulatory environment is likely to have changed forever, creating potential opportunities that have not existed until now. Assumptions that supported years of stable and predictable growth may no longer be valid.
Competitive advantages change dynamically as business models adapt to new market realities, and the core capabilities that make an organisation distinctive may suddenly be less differentiating. While the rise of digital has been pressing for more than a decade, the current crisis has significantly exacerbated and accelerated its disruptive force. Sudden pivots seen during the Covid-19 pandemic include:
- Changes in sales models.
- Need for new offers.
- Rapid changes in customer behaviour.
- The influx of competitors from different industries.
Opportunities In Times Of Crisis
Companies can gain long-term benefits by understanding these changes and the opportunities they present. In past crises, companies invested in innovation delivered superior post-crisis growth and performance. Organisations that maintained their focus on innovation through the 2009 financial crisis, for example, emerged stronger, outperforming the market average by more than 30% and experiencing continued rapid growth over the next 3-5 years.
Crises, especially those we are experiencing now, have significant financial and human costs, deplete assets and human capital, and cause significant social and economic dislocation. Yet many of these dynamics are ingredients for disruption from which new business models emerge.
For example, the sharing economy grew out of the 2009 financial crisis, as technology enabled the creation of markets for underutilised assets just as people were seeking much-needed new sources of income. The SARS epidemic that devastated Asia in 2002 and drove its citizens into refuge was the impetus for the growth and widespread adoption of e-commerce in that region, making China the epicentre of innovation around social commerce. The most recent focus on the climate change crisis has fueled significant growth in solar equipment and electric cars and innovation around more “green” foods, such as plant-based meat substitutes.