Amid the lock downs, self-isolation, ventilator shortages, and empty supermarket shelves that is the fear fodder for the media herd, the innovative business sees things differently.

The agile innovator is taking stock of what is happening, how their business is positioned both as a business owner and with their teams. When many are still responding to the short-term, they are focusing on the long-term strategic picture.  They are working on the business not just in it. Crises are good like that – necessity unlocks innovation.

The agile innovator is doing 5 things +1:

Figuring out the new norm

Whilst the economic system will rebound, the dislocation to our mindsets is more permanent.  Many things will not spring back to pre-COVID 19 norms.  The agile innovator connects with customers, shareholders, employees, suppliers and anyone else with an atypical viewpoint, using questioning to construct a credible picture of the new norm.  The best sales and marketing teams search for this information.

Diversifying supply chains

Dependency on low cost offshore supply chains or offshore supply chains that deliver customised componentry is challenging if those supply chains are dislocated for any period or for any reason.  There is a strategic rationale for resurgent economic nationalism that we observe in the Unites States and Europe.  The agile innovator is re-assessing the benefits of onshoring and re-integrating design and manufacture – taking a harder look at advances in 3D printing, automation and technology trends to value-add and reduce cost..  They are thinking about their business model and market need.

Accelerating Product development

The rest of the world is in a worse position with larger populations and smaller land masses, tighter social lock-down directions and deeper dislocation to supply chains.  The agile innovator is stabilising company finances and working out how to accelerate new product development ready for when COVID 19 abates.  They are planning how to succeed.

Focusing on IP

The agile innovator recognises that IP is their single most important asset.  So they are allocating time to really understand what IP they have today, to document what they need or want to develop, what it will cost, and who they should partner with to develop it.  They are awake to opportunities to work with compatible businesses with complementary IP.  They are thinking ahead.

Investing in teams

The agile innovator works with their teams to get everyone focused on growth and how to do it.  Growth is the ultimate business and employment stabiliser.  The agile innovator knows how to use emergency liquidity funding from Governments productively, knowing that it must be repaid with interest.  Liquidity funding may achieve nothing if married to a survival rather than a growth mindset.   Mindset matters

+1. Waiting for Stimulus 3

Stimulus 3 is the strategic bet.   Stimulus 2 is the liquidity event.

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