During a recent discussion with a friend, I took the position that although we are living in extremely disruptive times, there is a huge opportunity for exponential growth for many businesses. This current disruption presents an abundance of opportunities. I contend that many challenges and significant threats to businesses will be amplified. It is critical that businesses act quickly in response to threats or change. This applies to the positive and the negative impacts of the chaos. Businesses that have been struggling will probably struggle much more. As a result, we will see the greatest extinction rate of business in our lifetime. For example, the retail landscape will completely change – those businesses that were struggling to survive before all the chaos are likely to continue struggling and spiraling down, possibly out of existence.
Nobody likes to think about these business failures and the resulting job losses. Yet, as humans, we tend to stay scarcity-minded, focusing on the negatives that will stem from this crisis.
I consider this to be narrow thinking. We should reframe it. Think about tomorrow and how it will be different than yesterday or today. I don’t mean dismiss the chaos. There is no getting around some things. Businesses need to adapt, and some will. We have the potential to thrive in so many positive ways. I am consistently seeing solid businesses not only survive, but boom and grow. They have learned to adapt and respond quickly. And in a reasonably free market, that is part of the process.
The COVID chaos is not only amplifying the negative; it is empowering quick, massive shifts in our working environments. I believe amazing and wonderful things will come out of this crisis – outcomes that, without the forcing mechanism of COVID to propel us forward, might not have come to light or would have taken years for a transition.
An example of this is how we view the office and working from home. The Zoom revolution will have substantial repercussions, many in positive ways. These may include decreased office costs, less time commuting, and more family time, among others. Had it not been for COVID, we would not have been forced to pivot, adapt, and address the changes needed.
Is it perfect? Nope.
Is it getting better and is it here to say? Yep.
I believe this remote revolution might have taken businesses at least 10 years to fully embrace; but because of the circumstances COVID created, it happened in a few months. Other industries that will be majorly impacted include education, air travel, the re-urbanization of people to smaller communities, delivery services, retail, medical research, and so many more that have yet to be discovered and revealed.
I get very excited about the notion that there are so many undiscovered opportunities. I believe in the entrepreneurial spirit of creativity and positive innovation. I also believe that when this spirit is combined with positive approaches to threats and our free market, businesses can truly thrive. Every day, new problems will arise that need to be solved, leading to exciting changes and growth opportunities. Businesses need to pivot, act quickly, and thrive. The idea that necessity is the mother of invention is true…and crisis amplifies that need.
Chaos is challenging. And change is challenging, but in many cases, positive outcomes can result. We have to anticipate change, look for opportunities, and evaluate different ways of doing things. This is where innovation, growth, and adaptive success live.
Here is an article my friend sent that discusses these ideas and how to look for the positives. I think we could all use a little positive thinking right now.
As a leader, how do you handle chaos and challenges? Do you want to learn more about the positive impacts of innovation on your organization? We can help with that! Contact us today to find out how.