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Innnovation Advice

Finding Opportunity in a Crisis

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

There is no doubt that when there is a time of crisis there is also a time for opportunity – and innovation. Many businesses, from small to large corporations, over the last several months have stepped up to the challenge. They have seized opportunities to change business models, design entirely new products and solutions, quickly shift talent to focus on priority initiatives and have applied innovative approaches to address recovery programs.

There is a case to be made for businesses to continue to focus on innovation even during periods of crisis. In fact, McKinsey has found “organizations that maintained their innovation focus through the 2009 financial crisis emerged stronger, outperforming the market average by more than 30 percent and continuing to deliver accelerated growth over the subsequent three to five years.”

But how do businesses and corporate innovation teams consider the prospect of continuing to innovate when many feel they are not equipped to take hold of new growth opportunities in times of extraordinary circumstances? Businesses that manage innovation by waiting for ideas to filter in will only achieve narrow results with limited business value. In order to maintain a competitive advantage, companies must adapt to new market changes and capture the opportunity by reexamining innovation operational structures. This includes being able to quickly identify the most relevant and valuable business issues to solve. Look for ideas that will uncover critical business challenges and develop solutions that will not only improve the core business, but also create transformational opportunities.  

During times of uncertainty, how is your team identifying and designing business strategies to protect and grow enterprise value?

Now is the time to Invent the Future!


A post-COVID-19 world may look very different thanks to the need to avoid unnecessary physical contact and mass gatherings. Coronavirus has sparked a rise in creative, weird and wonderful inventions to help us adjust to the ‘new normal’.

Covid-19 threatened to kill this restaurant. It turned into a community kitchen instead. The Washington, D.C. restaurant Little Sesame could have closed because of coronavirus but is using its kitchen to serve the city's most vulnerable instead.

Business in 2020 and beyond. It’s become very clear just about everywhere that we are going to have to get used to waves of disruption and, as a result, a constant battle.  [Link


Expert Tip: Activate Quick Wins

Changing market landscapes have and will continue to be a constant reality in business. Whether that is due to customer demand, your competition, economic factors, new technology or a global pandemic. Businesses that quickly innovate to identify strategic opportunity spaces, experiment with alternative solutions and act quickly are better positioned to maintain and accelerate their business through any changing environment.

Where should corporate innovation teams begin to identify the strategic opportunity areas – especially during transformational times? They can start by taking a closer look and reevaluating the innovation pipeline. Take the time to reprioritize each initiative, identify those that will drive business results and implement new ideas quickly while reducing risk.

Teams should activate quick win opportunities that are aligned with strategic business priorities in order to create tangle results – whether that’s in 4 months or a year.  Demonstrating quick wins that deliver key business value support building trust and building the identity of the team within the organization. Successful quick win projects also create program momentum and develop openings for longer horizons of time business initiatives. Innovation projects that can deliver rapid results through quick wins are an important component of the overall innovation roadmap and portfolio. 

N³ Innovation’s mission is to help corporate clients create measurable enterprise value by inventing the future. Clients have generated millions of dollars of revenue in new markets, with new products and new technologies.  


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