Innovation Strategist Lital Marom: How COVID-19 May Change the World
COVID-19 is truly testing “digital-first” business mantras. The pandemic has forced a rebirth of many industries, and a reimagining of traditional business models, modes of consumption, supply, interaction, and productivity. Only a few industries will avoid being reformed, restructured, or removed. In order to emerge from this period stronger, agility, scalability, and resiliency will be the true marks of competitive businesses in the new world.
It’s clear that this crisis will put an end to many outdated practices, but businesses with resiliency at the forefront of their strategy, combined with scalability and agility, will be able to find the flexibility and drive needed to succeed in the long term.
We know this by learning from those who came before. How did other companies survive past economic crises? In short, they were able to re-evaluate and adapt their operations. You can too by asking yourself these five questions:
1. How can I disrupt myself NOW?
During the dot-com crash, Blockbuster had the opportunity to acquire Netflix for $50 Million, but the CEO thought it was a joke. Today, Blockbuster is obsolete, while Netflix is valued above $187 billion dollars — not only offering movie rentals but also producing new content. Lesson: Take risk and opportunity seriously.
2. Which of my customers’ segments and geographies might be first to recover?
After the financial crisis of 2007-2008, LEGO saw profit growth upwards of 60% because they focused on Asian and European markets, which hadn’t been impacted nearly as much as the United States by the housing market collapse.
Lesson Learned: In the context of COVID-19, businesses ought to shift towards markets that demonstrate surviving/thriving characteristics like Australia, New Zealand, China, and South Korea.
3. Which new products are critical to customers’ needs?
After the recession in 2001, Target lost ground to Walmart’s “always low prices.” In response, Target expanded their stores to focus on groceries, which were classified as essential needs.
4. How can I find both savings and opportunities?
While it may be easier to eliminate payroll expenses, it is far more strategic and beneficial (especially long-term) to pay attention to systems thinking. Though crises strain short-term growth, the potential of long-term success is maximized when companies invest in research and development, and innovation.
5. Did my competitors let go of top talent?
If so, recruit that talent! Now is the time to strategically source. Make sure that your hiring managers are following your best competitors and keeping track of their best talent.
Overall, leaders who leverage lessons from the winners in previous crises (as well as pay attention to the unique constraints of today’s environment) will be in the best position to succeed.
A thought leader on agile business processes, digital transformation, and the future of work, Lital Marom is an expert at helping organizations unlock the potential of their business by leveraging emerging technologies and new economic models.
In her practical and engaging talks, Lital inspires business leaders to “disrupt themselves” and push beyond their limitations to future proof their businesses.