When you can’t change the direction of the wind, adjust your sails. - H. Jackson Brown

In the coming weeks and months, our businesses will be challenged to show their resilience as an organisation. Now more than ever, we can do things that will have an impact on our future. 3 burning questions we hear a lot nowadays.

1. Is innovation something we need to worry about today? Don’t we have other fish to fry during this crisis?

In times of crisis, everybody is focusing on the essentials. Can we keep our business going? What can we do to increase efficiency? It’s a natural reaction to put innovation efforts on the backburner. We tend to say that “innovation can wait for whenever things get better.”

And yet, we need to focus on innovation today, also in these confusing times. A crisis like this one can be an opportunity to create value and to see how you can do things differently. Change and innovation are two sides of the same coin. Taking advantage of this momentum of change will make sure your company is ready, even has a head start, for when life falls into place again.

Change is happening right now and it forces us to innovate. Teleworking is just one example, but there are many more. Our advice: bring the right people together right now and define your new dot on the horizon. Of course, there is no instant recipe for innovation, but there are many things you can do right now to get your innovation projects off the ground.

2. Does this crisis not prove that the future is unpredictable?

Well, not quite. Sure, the future is unpredictable and there are not many people who saw this Corona crisis coming. However, there are ways to plan for the unexpected.

Your business needs to invest time in drawing up a long-term strategy and plan for growth, rather than simply reacting to market conditions. At the same time, you need to make your business more robust against disruptive forces. That might be easier said than done, but at any rate: inventing the future and making your strategy robust starts with collecting the right insights and systematically looking beyond your normal business environment. Our scenario planning process is a great way to do this.

3. Every crisis is an opportunity, they say. Even this one?

Yes. Even this one. There is an opportunity in every crisis and the deeper the crisis, the better the opportunity can be. Unexpected events of these proportions force our businesses into introspection. They invite us to look at the bigger picture.

This crisis might be the start of something completely new in our society. Sure, at the start of the crisis, we saw a lot of chaos. But gradually, our society started to adapt and reorganize. This is a time when new ideas, new solutions to old needs, start to take shape. Society is changing before our eyes, and we better try to turn this into an opportunity.


Innovation excellence program

Embed innovation in your company! Through a tailor-made program you will be able to anchor innovation in your strategy, way of working, organisational structure, culture and ecosystem.

P1223010 min

Navigating the first stress-test of scenario planning

Last week, I had the privilege of taking another enlightening journey through the realm of scenario planning and future strategy with a group of high-flyers from different disciplines. It was the first time this group subjected their carefully prepared scenarios to a stress test. This moment, brimming with a delightful mix of joy, anticipation, and a touch of nervousness, was a milestone for all involved.