- The coronavirus pandemic is a serious global concern. A worldwide containment effort to halt the spread of COVID-19 has had far-reaching impacts on both the world economy and local communities.
- Although the travel industry was the first to feel the negative economic effects of the virus, the concern is much broader than that, as reflected in the more than 20% decline in the stock market over the last few weeks.
- There is no doubt that a crisis causes many problems, but it also creates opportunities for innovation.
- In most organisations, decisions are based on some type of risk/reward analysis. Is the potential gain enough to outweigh the risk of failure? The challenge for most people is that, under normal circumstances, the fear of failure almost always overrules the argument for change. So companies are biased towards avoiding risk.
- In the words of Chuck Swoboda, “A crisis helps people realize that they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.”
I know a bloke who is very fond of saying, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
This is a bloke who worked for himself almost his entire career. He understood that you must be one fresh horse ahead of the posse and that there is no such thing as ‘business as usual’.
In this moment of crisis, I can’t help but think he’s right.
It’s easy to get caught up in the panic and put things off for when the eye of the storm passes.
But with analysts forecasting this could go on for six to 12 months, inertia isn’t the answer.
For many businesses, the norm is a culture that rewards hitting your goal, not taking on challenges that might not be possible to solve. With the world in a tailspin, we have much more to gain.
What’s the point of trying to return to ‘business as usual’ when there may be no such thing? Instead, think long term and look for opportunities within the madness.
For starters, we know that online shopping is going to go through the roof. We know TV viewing will increase. Consumers are desperate for the escapism of sport. If you’re a business in a position to capitalise on these things, don’t wait. Get to work on your strategy right now.
Start thinking about your strengths, the quick wins, and what you can change now.
The only danger is doing nothing.
The bounce back will be here before you know it and you’ll wish you didn’t spend all your time watching re-runs of Seinfeld and Friends.