Lessons From the Pandemic: Crisis as a Catalyst for Innovation (An Expanded Discussion)

This companion white paper provides more complete coverage of the topic addressed in Issue 141 of Board Perspectives and on NACD/BoardTalk.

A facilitated discussion with active directors at a recent National Association of Corporate Directors (NACD) event in the United States focused on the significance of agility as an important driver of success in a mercurial environment — and how, for many companies, digital maturity and future readiness correlate with the ability to innovate. Boards must position themselves to help their organisations not merely survive, but also compete and thrive, through a strategic approach to cultivating innovation and enabling that innovation to scale, whether during a crisis or when times are good.

We summarise 8 key takeaways from this recent discussion:

  • A crisis can be the ultimate determinant of who is resilient — and who isn’t.
  • The COVID-19 crisis has spawned an openness to new ideas and approaches and a willingness to fail.
  • A crisis spotlights innovation, but innovation should also shine in less turbulent times.
  • “You can’t fight gravity.”
  • If everyone is thinking alike, then someone isn’t thinking.
  • A strong customer focus is where it starts.
  • An innovative culture is more likely to complete the cycle and get results.
  • The board’s role is to push for a sustainable innovative culture that’s aligned with the strategy.

For a more complete discussion on this topic, including examples, download the companion white paper.

(Companion White Paper for Board Perspectives — Issue 141)