Innovating around C-19, social distancing

Date Posted: August 18, 2020

Innovating around C-19, social distancing

Despite a $5 Trillion commitment by the G20, and gradual strides by Asia to return to work, the impacts of C-19 could lead the world into another recession as it continues to diminish demand curves, upend production capacity, and compromise global supply chains. Analysts estimate the world could lose up to $21 Trillion (about 25% of its GDP).

Thus, the critical question for any business or entity is ‘how do we thrive in this season and beyond?’

There is no straight cut answer. For some, thriving will mean surviving until the storm is over e.g. tourism companies; for others it will mean seizing market share and consolidating market gains e.g. e-commerce stores. For some it will require creating and launching entirely new products e.g. some manufacturers; for others, it will mean global expansion e.g. healthcare brands. What category does your business fall within? I recommend actually thinking about this for a while before reading on:

Regardless your business category, there are certain inalienable truths that affect how you should approach your business and the market in times like this, and going forward. These truths can be found by asking, and objectively answering the right questions:

1.      People! Are your people policies effective and progressive? Is 9-5 really all that necessary? Flexible work; how do you incentivize, track and scale remote productivity and engagement? What is the true measure of commitment? How do you treat confidential information in a distributed, virtual workforce?

2.      Tools! Do your work tools allow dynamism, and do they promote safety? From fingerprint-based punch-in systems to small pantries and cubicles, what needs to change? What is the new definition of workplace safety and what framework does your business need to guarantee it? What tools does your business need to work smart in the age of distributed, virtual teams?

3.      Marketing! How are you perceived? How do your brand touch-points reiterate its commitment to safety and social responsibility? How does, and how will your brand continue to own and consistently manage its business relationships? How will your business tweak its customer acquisition strategy and increase customer lifetime value? What communications tools, collateral, and competencies do you need for now, and later?

4.      Risk! What is your brand’s methodology for risk monitoring and mitigation? What kinds of risk are your business susceptible to? Are existing mitigation approaches sufficient? How does your business glean data and insights, and go from insight to action?

5.      Operations! How will your business’ value delivery workflow be impacted by responses to all of the foregoing and how do you phase implementation and manage change?

C-19 shows us how insanely connected we all are. Your business’ biggest threats may not be those at home anymore, they could be worlds away from you. Likewise, your biggest clients could also be worlds away from your base of operations.

Innovate forward!

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