Stay alert to economic, technological, and geopolitical upheaval.

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Assess how adaptive your organization is to constant shock therapy.

Install leaders who are ambitious and collaborative.


This perspective requires first coming to terms with a company’s purpose. In societal crises, companies cannot innovate for the greater good if they constrain themselves to the pursuit of profit. What they need to do is combine higher profitability with contributions to society. You could start, for example, with a process where profits support societal engagement, or where societal engagement is later monetized.

Ultimately, companies need to bring profit and purpose together in pivotal moments. Using a crisis in this way requires strategic capabilities to identify what needs to be done, as well as the repurposing of available resources, and, most importantly, opening the company to the community of stakeholders.

WHAT IS YOUR SOLUTION? Leaders should not measure their success by how well they innovate when the circumstances are favorable. Instead, they should measure success by their ability to innovate during crises. Crisis-based innovation is a powerful perspective to better understand and plan to thrive in times of the greatest uncertainty, such as today.

CRISIS-DRIVEN INNOVATION OF PRODUCTS NEW TO FIRMS: THE SENSITIZATION RESPONSE TO COVID-19 By Joakim Netz, Patrick Reinmoeller, Mattias Axelson (R&D Management, 18 January, 2022)



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