How To Innovate Your Way Through COVID-19

by Lisa Bodell for ForbesWomen

Recent research from Columbia Business School indicates that financial crises — like the one we’re presently living through — can be a source of great innovation. And while the definition of innovation often refers to breakthrough inventions, it also includes any new idea that brings value to your business and customers. Whether you’re seeking new revenue streams or ways to better meet customers’ needs during COVID-19, consider using the technique known as Hunting Grounds.

When a telecommunications company ran this exercise, the goal was to increase revenues for its smartphone business. A remote group of 30 employees at all levels then analyzed the business according to eight categories — or “Hunting Grounds”—and answered both negative and positive questions about each category. The eight areas of innovation opportunities are:

  • New Product or Service
  • New Brand Experience
  • New Business Model
  • New Distribution Channel
  • New Customer Segment
  • New Strategic Partnership
  • New Communication Channel
  • New Business Process

For the first part of the exercise, the group thought critically about its distribution channels. Which channels had they overlooked in the past? What about factory outlets? Or vending machines? Or the black market? From there, they ideated on how to make each of those channels a reality.

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