Crisis leads to Innovation:
The pandemic of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has led to a global health crisis which has a
deep impact on the way we see our world and has impacted our everyday lives. Looking at the
current Covid19 crisis, there’s no reservation in also saying that it has led to several innovations
be it the new drugs, medical instruments, improved healthcare procedures, industrial and
supply chain innovations and new techniques to collaborate.
A common thing with all these innovations is that they will lead to solving the problems for
us, which is the core of innovation. Innovation is also determined by a strong desire to help
other people and finding a solution when the situation is tough.
Leaders and Innovation:
Some key shifts happen during a crisis which allows the opportunity to think new ways of
thinking and doing things. A leader in an organization if understanding these shifts then can
drive their organization to the right path. During a crisis, what we see is that there is a major
boost to the energy of the employees in the organization. Those leaders who can suitably focus
their energy on a clear objective in coming out of the crisis. They allow their workforce to
come out with insights on their working which normally they keep to themselves.
Business Disruption and Innovation:
One of the powerful outcomes of innovation is that it allows a business to successfully come
out from periods of disruption. CEOs and business leaders may find it difficult to realize the
power of a disruptive start-up or a powerful developing technology can have on their business.
While many organizations understand that the solution which they are looking at may lie
beyond their business. This has never been accurate to what it is right now during the Covid19
Organizations across the world are giving fresh thought on how they deliver services and
products to their customers, how to keep their employees safe, and how they communicate with
their customers, vendors, business partners, and other stakeholders. There are issues with
regards to cash flows and their sales pipeline is also impacted. A business which will stick to
their usual methods will not be able to get the innovative ideas to get them out of this crisis.
Therefore, an innovative approach is required to ride through these challenging times and the
smart organizations will have processes in place to capture these innovative ideas and
implement them as well.
Forms of Business Innovation:
1) Customer delight with cost reduction
An innovation that helps the organization to cut costs and not impacting the customer
experience is known as Costovation. ‘Clover’ a vegetarian fast-food chain managed to cut its
costs and gained customer delight by using the ingredients which were earlier treated as waste
and then using them to make boxes of fruits and vegetables and then giving healthy options to
their customers.
2) Collaboration with other Brands
Companies are coming together to jointly look at solutions to the current crisis as on one side
companies must fire people due to loss of business, there are companies in e-commerce
business who are helping them hire back. These types of collaborative approaches are helping
companies and society in general. In China, there were almost 40 companies that came together
to create an employment exchange where Hema, which is a supermarket owned by Alibaba
hired people from hotels as they desperately needed more employees to meet the demand.
3) Changing Customer Experience Concept
Classification: Internal
With the Covid19 crisis, the concept of customer experience is also changing. The situation
demands the businesses to find our new ways of creating customer experiences like many small
stores named The Old Brick Store headed to social media to give their loyal customers a view
of their daily inventories which will help them to order products which they want and are in
stock and even hosted virtual pizza parties and happy hours for this customers.
4) Adjusting to new habits of the buyers
With the Covid19 crisis, it has resulted into new habits among the buyers, and social distancing
is one of the new norms, it is very difficult to follow the same in some of the crowded
supermarkets. Thus, companies are now working on curbside pick-up offers, home deliveries,
pre-packed combos which will help them ease out the footfalls in their facilities.
5) Retaining loyal customers
Keeping your loyal customer closer to you during these challenging times is even more
important as we may come across situations where customers make a shift from their local
store to an online store. An innovative solution which came out from a local grocery store in a
Western Massachusetts where ‘Wild Oats’ started opening their store in morning 0700hrs to
0900hrs for senior citizens and then have staggered timings for other customers, thereby
keeping their loyal customers closer to them. Earl’s, which is a popular spot with stores
everywhere in Canada and the US started offering grocery delivery and pick up service.
The whole world is currently in a crisis and we need more partnership than ever and come up
with more innovative ideas as a society. The innovation industry recognizes the rewards that
co-creation and innovation can bring with regards to the coronavirus crisis, and it has only
sensitized us with the need for more innovative approaches going forward.

Author's Bio: 

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