Crises are adrenaline for innovation. You must make decisions quickly under extremely uncertain conditions, and you never have enough time or information to fully weigh difficult choices that may affect both employee livelihoods and the survival of the business. Yet these very constraints can unleash waves of creativity. Necessity and urgency spur ideas and dissipate inertia. Leading innovators seize such conditions to reshape mindsets and behaviors, embracing the opportunity to uncover fresh solutions and make bold bets that can reignite growth.
While the COVID-19 crisis has not affected all sectors or geographies equally, the major discontinuities it has introduced across markets, customer behaviors, and ways of working and living mark an inflection point in history. Our research suggests organizations that innovate through crises by focusing on generating new growth versus simply weathering the storm outperform significantly over time. But leading your organization to a successful COVID-19 exit requires making fundamental shifts in mindsets—starting at the top.
Being a bold innovator is a choice that must be backed by a commitment. To put the organization on a new growth trajectory requires three actions:
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Authored by Laura Furstenthal, Martin Hirt, and Erik Roth
The events of early 2020 forced most companies to quickly adjust to new challenges. Now, almost a year later, many are still laboring in this "new normal" environment -- increased safety precautions, scaled-down teams and empty offices. With teams scattered geographically and connection opportunities often limited to computer screens, now is a great time for leaders to check in on their workplace culture.
Culture is the optimal performance driver. It is an unsigned contract between an organization and its employees that gives individuals license to accomplish goals and get things done without the burden of worry or uncertainty about negative repercussions. And every employee in an organization has the power to amplify or detract from its culture.