RE-CONCEIVING INNOVATION FOR COVID-19

Covid-19 is an opportunity for businesses to build a new normal that is more human-centric, imaginative and agile. For certain firms, Covid-19 has infused new meaning into the old cliché that a crisis is just an opportunity in disguise. Before the pandemic, digital companies such as Amazon and Zoom were competing not only with incumbents but also with conventions that refused to die, such as the handshake and the clearance sale. Now, Covid-19 has disrupted the old ways, leaving these already cutting-edge firms with even less competition and much more freedom to innovate. Of course, one company’s fertilizer of adversity is another’s manure. For example, the airline industry is struggling to adapt the interiors of commercial airplanes to the demands of social distancing. Indeed, airplane seating has looked much the same for decades. And there are good reasons why. Even minor changes to the internal layout may have serious implications for safety, weight distribution, etc. In short, many incumbents are now confronting design and creativity challenges. To be sure, merging business and design comes with a great many hurdles. Despite these tactical difficulties, Covid-19 is probably the greatest catalyst to innovation the world has seen in a long time. Indeed, success after the pandemic hinges upon business leaders using this unprecedented moment to produce a step-change along three dimensions of innovation: human-centricity, creativity, agility. Read More >>

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