A year after the pandemic broke out, we’ve come to terms with the fact that we cannot wait for things to go back to normal. Instead, we must be the ones who adapt to a new reality. Necessity, as the saying goes, is the mother of invention. So, how will our approach to innovation change as the world recovers from the pandemic?
The global health crisis has shown us that innovation doesn’t focus exclusively on new technology or the launch of a new product: it can take many forms – and extend to the adoption of new methods and processes, or even pivot business strategy to create new value.
Understanding these shifts in innovation trends prepares organizations to identify and seize opportunities that can make them more resilient in the future. Here is a look at a few key learnings from the past year that will impact how we pursue innovation in the post-Covid landscape.
The power of pivoting
The Cambridge Dictionary defines innovation as “the use of a new idea or method.” As a result of the pandemic, our collective understanding of this concept has evolved to also include the repurposing of existing resources in order to create new value. Before Covid-19, most organizational innovation activities centered on increasing revenue and operational efficiencies. Companies rarely planned for change – which became clear as organizations struggled to react to the challenges posed by the crisis.
This is where pivoting comes in. Pivoting occurs when an organization shifts its business strategy and leverages existing resources such as expertise, infrastructure and supply chains to address a new scenario in its industry, brought along by changes in demand, evolving consumer preferences or times of crisis.
One of the most well known examples of pivoting during the pandemic came from luxury brand LVMH, which pivoted operations and utilized three of their perfume and cosmetic manufacturing plants to produce several tons of sanitizer for local hospitals in Paris.
Another great example came from the partnership between ride-hailing company Lyft and Amazon. At the beginning of the health crisis, demand for Lyft rides took a hit due to confinement and mobility restrictions, while Amazon orders soared. Through this partnership, Lyft was able to pivot their operations and leverage its network of drivers to help Amazon with the surge in deliveries.
As the world moves forward, the ability to pivot will create new opportunities for organizations – and could also mean the difference between survival and extinction of the species.