If there is a silver lining to the COVID-19 crisis, it is that the pandemic is prompting businesses to rethink their innovation strategies.
The changes that COVID-19 has brought are occurring in waves, starting with the shutdown of production in China and continuing through the cancelation of events, ceasing of travel, and lockdowns in various locations.
Economic uncertainty has led to lasting changes that can’t be ignored. Emerging trends have become mission-critical in the digital world of global ecommerce.
Much of what was considered optional a few short months ago is now necessary to ensure continued business success. Organization leaders who quickly adopt new practices and processes will survive, while those who don’t are more likely to suffer lasting effects.
According to a recent survey, company leaders who responded predicted a 20 to 30 percent drop in sales. This estimate, however, was for the first quarter of 2020 before COVID-19 was a global threat. Since that time, businesses have increased innovation management efforts to meet unexpected demands for change in numerous ways.
How can organizations respond innovatively to COVID-19?
COVID-19 is forcing companies to become more flexible by meeting demands that are unrelated to their business models. For example, manufacturing companies who produce auto parts can use that same technology to produce respiratory ventilators.
The key to flexibility is connecting and automating operations where possible. The result will be an increase in efficiency and a decrease in downtime.
Leverage the Power of Digital Platforms
Companies are leveraging digital platforms to revitalize certain areas of business. Now more than ever, people are engaging with one another online using conversation, videos, and social media posts.
Virtual reality technology has become an important part of this process. Since customers can’t see products in action up close, they are experiencing them virtually and making purchases as a direct result.
Promote Bold Decision-Making
The COVID-19 crisis is promoting bold decision-making among business owners like never before. Such decisions will enable companies to take chances by purchasing new technologies, implementing innovation strategies, and integrating a more diverse supply chain. One example of this is the use of virtual workspaces.
Employees in a multitude of industries are working from home, which removes them from the workplace where much of the innovation management takes place. As a result, companies are using technology to hold meetings, discuss new ideas, and implement more effective strategies.
Let Change Lead Innovation
During the COVID-19 crisis, the needs of customers will continue to change. Organization leaders should consider this an opportunity to let change lead their innovation efforts. A recent survey revealed organizational change is often prompted by innovation. When questioned, 62 percent of company leaders reported most of their investments will go toward incremental innovation, a trend that continues to develop and increase while customers remain quarantined.
As companies continue adopting innovation management strategies, they will need to place more emphasis on finding ways to communicate with customers. Businesses can strengthen these new relationships by continuing to promote new methods of engagement that will linger even after the pandemic begins to slow down.
Are you looking for more ways to innovate during the COVID-19 pandemic? Check out our COVID-19 response page today.