Updated: Oct 18, 2021
In every industry and every region of the world change and evolution are accelerating. As the Covid pandemic has already started to unwind, most people are looking forward to going back to normal life, but the new normal will be different than the old normal. The businesses that have adapted well, have learned there is an opportunity in challenging convention and leveraging rapid innovation. Those who have changed first and innovated effectively have been able to dictate the rules others must follow.
Here are a few examples: Chik fil a had a record sales year in 2020 by shutting their dining rooms and adopting an all drive-through model. At Whole Foods, there are often more employees picking items off store shelves for home delivery these days than there are shoppers carrying out groceries. Telemedicine has boomed advanced 10 years in the past 12 months. In all of these examples, the businesses took existing products and services and found innovative ways to deliver them to the market. Innovation can be revolutionary, but more often it's incremental. It can occur in one or all of the functions in the value creation and value delivery model.
The end of COVID and reopening will create more opportunities and there will be a new set of winners and losers. The winners will again be the businesses that challenge conventional wisdom, identify anomalies, and respond with speed and innovative products and solutions. If you haven't already, it's now time to do scenario planning and position your business for the reopening that has already begun. Take some time (1-4 hours), step back from daily operations, ask difficult questions, be creative, think expansively, and act with courage. This type of exercise should be done a couple of times a year and ideally combined with other strategy and planning exercises.