The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word 'crisis.' One brush stroke stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger--but recognize the opportunity.
When in a crisis the overwhelming temptation is to think and act short term.
There is definitely a need to prioritise, preserve and persevere in the early conservation stage. However, the earlier you can start thinking about the new needs that have been created, and the possible opportunities they represent, the better prepared you’ll be for the post crisis world.
There will be organisations that do not survive this crisis or a future one, that is sadly true. What is also true is that those who prepare well, pivot positively, look after their teams, and have momentum, will come out of the blocks fast, and be the winners in the new order.
Innovation and creativity have become mandatory even in a stable market, due to digital disruption. How much more so in the transition through a crisis. Adapt or die. Pivot or you won’t survive. The world will not be the same, but what will it look like? What are the trends that will grow faster post crisis? What will stop happening? Beginning to run scenarios of the future operating environment will test your organisations ability to adapt. Skill sets, products and services important before a crisis, maybe more important or not required after. What does it mean for you in your markets and in your industry?
Having a ‘future memory’ is an odd concept. If we do scenario planning, spend some time thinking about the future, considering alternatives and opportunities, we are much more likely to recognise innovation and opportunity when we see it. If we haven’t imagined and explored the future, we may not see the opportunities for what they are. Creating future memories gives our brains a framework and a scenario to plug possible innovations into when we come across them. This enhances our ability to innovate, adapt and thrive in a fast-paced crisis.
Never waste a good crisis. The things you couldn’t, or didn’t, do in a relatively benign environment, can absolutely be done in a crisis. There are little if any change constraints as all stakeholders recognise a need for change.
Now is the time for the radical capture of the future. What do you need to look like to thrive in a post crisis world? Go there now, or at least prepare, build the capability and be ready to go. Rather than over-cutting resources, if it is at all possible, reallocate them to development, discovery, innovation and preparation. Capture your future potential!