‘I believe luck is preparation meeting opportunity. If you hadn’t been prepared when the opportunity came along, you wouldn’t have been lucky.’

Oprah Winfrey

No-one has any clear and definitive idea about where the economy will go over the next 6-12 months – the current global health crisis is going to leave everyone with lasting memories, and for the majority not the kind we would want.

The human impact, and business impact, of the pandemic is significant and continues to grow, but we are seeing a lot of our clients working hard to position their businesses to be able to maximise any sector specific opportunities that may come their way.

The swift onset and substantial impact of COVID-19 has created a push for businesses to make changes for survival. Where many businesses are may not feel like innovation, but as businesses develop new methods of production and/or establish new management systems – it is.

While the current health crisis will ultimately pass, a return to how things were before is unlikely. And, while the human and economic impact may be devastating, some key changes could be the silver lining.

So, what have we learnt and how do we keep momentum going?

Here are five suggestions to look at:

  1. Beware of labels

Some words can be overused and become negatively charged –  ‘innovation’ is a candidate for this! During this unprecedented time, we have seen our clients adapted to the evolving circumstances, respond and built new solutions and work really hard. The bottom line here is to work on urgent, necessary change to enable businesses to develop and enhance approaches to grab any opportunities over the coming months and years. Innovation may be a principle, but  having a mindset of faster change and evolution will be the practice.

  1. Consider everything

Make sure that processes or increasing efficiencies are in the mix rather than just consumer facing activities.  Agile thinking will be vital –  business survival requires both change and innovation, in all areas, being both the processes used as well as the end product produced.

  1. Be honest about what does not work

This does not usually require a lot of review or analysis – most businesses know where they can improve and these insights can be really helpful if talked about openly and honestly. The best thing to do with that knowledge is to discuss it, capture it  and make changing it a real business focus.

  1. Work on rather than in the business

If you can’t create the time and space, change won’t happen and it certainly doesn’t happen by chance.  Businesses have to set time in the week for discussions about change and how you can engage the organisation to bring it to life.

  1. Track and monitor

If you don’t, how will you know what ideas are being created, what will they change, where and how? For the ideas that do fly, what is working, and most importantly what is the learning? If things do not go as expected, capture the insights and learnings and make these visible to the organization. Tracking progress will help any organisation to build on past learnings and keep innovation high on the agenda.

Now is the time to make change. We are never too busy – we are just making other choices.

Change, evolution (aka innovation), must be the mindset going forwards and the current pandemic has highlighted how constantly embracing change is going to be required for business to thrive.

Stay safe and well.