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Emerging opportunities for innovation post-COVID-19.

Currently, we see a lot of unprecedented shifts around us. How to take action now to be prepared for post-Covid-19-times and capitalize on upcoming new opportunities.


In the midst of every crisis lies an opportunity. — Albert Einstein


Will a “new normal” really happen or do we rush back to the world we have known before? Are people really reconsidering capitalism and the way they consume? Do people rethink how governments act and if they really represent what they elected them for? Do people recognize how vulnerable our modern, globalized world is to a fast-moving systemic shock? Will they change their habits permanently?


It’s just too early to tell, but it’s obvious that Corona will lead to permanent shifts in political and economic powers and will be causing novel conditions for leaders and companies to navigate.


Currently, all industries are changing rapidly and are being disrupted by 3 main sources:


  1. Competitive Landscape (transformative new technologies or business models)

  2. Physical environment (climate change and local disasters, events such as COVID-19, conflict over scarce resources, destroying supply chains, etc.)

  3. Social conditions (changing value and opinions by customers, employees, and shareholders)

In these times, innovation becomes a survival skill as innovators know how to deal with uncertainties. Methodical experiments with real-user feedback and structured exploration of new opportunities become mission-critical to rapidly adapt your business to new market demands.


It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. — Charles Darwin


It reflects what the core of innovation is:

Innovation = Finding new solutions for (new) unmet customer needs.


Now we all know that adapting is extremely difficult for large, risk-averse organizations because they are designed to thrive in the current economic system. So we, the designers, and the innovators will have to lead new ways of creating and delivering value as the most innovative solutions often arise in the face of the greatest constraints.


Why we should act instead of reacting in these times:


  1. Disruptions thrive in times of crises and it will be you or your competitor who will take advantage of them.

  2. We have a mission-critical need for efficiency, speed, and adaptability in uncertain times.

  3. We are able to unlock new growth by spotting new opportunities in the evolving market.

  4. We are able to stand out from competitors in terms of new products/services/experiences adapting to new market conditions.

  5. We learn to meet increasing and ever-changing customer expectations in dynamic environments.

  6. We might be able to attract the best talent standing out in this crowded marketplace.


But how to act & thrive?


1) Spot emerging white spaces and changing customer demand to adapt your offering. New customer behavior post-Corona triggers new growth opportunities and new potential niche markets. Review your current product and service offerings to adapt to new market needs.


2) Focus on painkillers.

Great ideas usually either solve a real, significant problem or make life considerably easier. During these times there should be plenty of opportunities to focus on. Use techniques such as qualitative customer interviews or customer journey mapping to explore potential pains/gains of your customer/consumer/user and try to leverage these insights for new offerings.


3) Develop new products/services/business models

Adapt your current offering or business models according to the previously spotted opportunities and use techniques such as the famous design sprint by Jake Knapp

to rapidly ideate and validate business ideas with real user feedback.


So if you feel you feel that

● your current business model is increasingly vulnerable

● you want to balance today’s stability with inventing the future of your business

● you want to apply a more agile approach to experimentation to quickly adapt to new market conditions

● you have to reorganize the way you do business today and be in shape for tomorrow


Start today and listen to Paul Romer’s words:


A crisis is a terrible thing to waste. - Stanford economist Paul Romer

 

By Fabian Roschig


hybrid between startup-founder, marketeer, and innovation consultant. For more than 12 years, he had the privilege of successfully planning and implementing new strategies, products and services, innovation programs, agile structures and teams, and processes for a variety of clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, the German airline Condor, Telefonica, or Germany’s leading football magazine kicker. He works closely with executive boards, middle management, cross-functional teams, and external service providers.


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