The Covid-19 future will require all of us to innovate. You are doing it already—changing how you work and communicate. Leaders are busy looking to the future, asking how they can be responsive and position their companies for success in the months and years to come. Our future won’t look like the past. Trends have accelerated and changes that were coming slowly are here overnight. We have seen responses from a myriad of companies—large and small—that have made our world better.
- Zoom has stepped up to the challenge amazingly well considering the demand. Yes, there have been some security issues and they have added new features to help manage it, but can you imagine life without zoom happy hours? Oh yea, and conference calls?
- Ford and GE have teamed up to make respirators and ventilators, with expectations to produce 30,000 ventilators a month when they get going adding to the existing 150,000-200,000 that is estimated to exist in the US.
- Instacart is saving us from grocery store exposure.
Across the landscape, companies are coming up with heroic solutions for what the world needs now. Do you have this capability? Take some time with your team to define your current level of innovation. Is it a strength? Are you reactive or proactive? Innovation cuts across the entire organization—engaging people, serving customers, improving operational processes, and much more. It is not just R & D.
- Define what level of innovation you want in your organization. Take the time to describe what you mean by “innovation”, so everyone has a common understanding and give examples or tell stories to illustrate. Then set some goals to elevate the level from where you are now to what you want it to be. What will you do differently 3 months from now? 1 year from now? 3 years from now? How will you stair step your way to greater innovation?
- Establish accountability. Like anything else that matters, set measurable goals to track progress and evaluate success. Be sure innovations are generating tangible results and not just feel good activities. In order to teach new habits, you can do what Dina Dwyer of the Dwyer Group did—play the beep game. If you feel someone is resorting to “old school” thinking you simply “beep”. It is a way of helping each other out as you learn new skills and new habits.