Project Management

How to Pursue Innovation in a Crisis

Amy J. Radin

No business has escaped the impacts of Covid-19. Whether managing demand that is either skyrocketing or plummeting, finding workarounds for a fractured supply chain, or enabling employees to work safely and/or from remote locations, leaders have been forced to take on priorities that few could have imagined. They are reshaping priorities, reassigning resources, reducing and eliminating expenses, and making dramatic organization changes. They are making split-second decisions with incomplete information, uncertainty about the future, and no experience managing through a pandemic.

It’s common in times of crisis to pause or cut investments, and innovation may be among the first areas seen as expendable when belt-tightening. Yet, this is an incredible time to innovate. Important, unsolved problems with potential to scale are everywhere. This contradiction is manageable with the right mindset and actions that are within a leader’s control. Here are five recommendations to advance innovation at a time when resources are tight.

Start by revalidating your innovation priorities

That list of priorities that you entered 2020 with, which seemed baked into the annual plan? You may need to scrap or temporarily shelve pet initiatives that no longer make sense, however frustrating and disappointing that feels. Take stock of what executives convey matters the most right now. Look at …

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