Don’t wait to innovate

Don’t wait to innovate

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This is a guest post from Chutzpah Consulting
(Member since 2019)

Contributors:

Laurie Cook
Innovation Specialist

My hope is that by the time you are reading this, support has come through for you regardless of whether you are a small business or a community organization. I am writing this as Parliament is meeting for the first time since the onslaught of COVID-19 started. It has been overwhelming for everyone to say the least.

I know for many, you may still be in crisis mode – that’s OK. Do what you have to do. That’s my number one thought.

I also have a couple other thoughts that could be helpful even as you work through crisis mode and start to think ‘downstream.’ This means thinking about scenario planning for a variety of different situations that could be the case in the next month or two, three to six months from now and even beyond that.

Some tips for thinking about all these situations include:

1- Radical acceptance

In the mental health world, there is a type of therapy called Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT). Part of it includes the idea of ‘radical acceptance.’ This is about acknowledging things may never be the same again. You may need to change your business model drastically to survive, or you may need to find another way to accomplish your goals; as a business owner or as a community organization. The sooner you can accept the situation, the sooner you can move on to deal with the reality of your situation.

2- Engage your employees, customers and other stakeholders

Innovation is not about figuring everything out on your own. Once you start to move beyond the initial shock of the crisis, find a way to engage everyone who might have a stake in the recovery of your organization. Who will need your services or products beyond the short-term? How can you modify your business or operational model to adapt now and into the future? What are some potential hard decisions you might need to make, and what would be the criteria for making those decisions? The more variety of other perspectives and ideas about things you can access, the better your long-term chances.

3- Ask how can you be of service to creating a better world for the future

As this crisis was beginning, I was on a LinkedIn group I’m part of. What I saw even as this event was just beginning was people who were not in crisis asking themselves how they could be of service to others in this very difficult time. I think this is a critical question for any individual or business to ask themselves. Even community organizations might need to check and review what their core purpose is as they deal with even more scarce resources than usual.

It also means asking ourselves what kind of world in the future do we want to live in, and how can we all contribute to creating that world. Many organizations that have been focusing for a long time on how to create a more inclusive, fair and sustainable economy have many great ideas for how we can do this.

This crisis has revealed many different cracks in our systems, and experts have been telling us for years this pandemic was coming and there will be more. We need to be ready for more crises and to do that we need to think very critically about our economic systems and how they need to change for the future.

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