Innovation in the Time of Crisis

We often hear that crisis breeds so much innovation. So, what leads to such innovation? If you can understand that, you can use it to our advantage and drive some beneficial changes in your organization.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres on our open platform. We publish pieces as written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team and must meet our guidelines prior to being published.

We often hear that crisis breeds so much innovation. So, what leads to such innovation? If you can understand that, you can use it to your advantage and drive some beneficial changes in your organization.

In my view, three factors come into play. These three factors are

  • Creativity
  • Perspective
  • Environment

A compulsion to think

Crisis forces everyone to think and contribute as if life depends on it. And people, who often do not speak up, are reserved, or keep ideas to themselves start to participate. The situation forces them to think and express.

The reason is simple; it is almost a do or die situation; failure is not an option.

Seeing things differently

Crisis often strips down elaborate setups to the bare minimum. When it happens, we are forced to confront the truth about how our systems work or don’t work. We are forced to see things differently.

And, as we get critical about what is must have and what is good to have, things that could be done better becomes glaringly apparent.

Slow-down of momentum

We often build elaborate systems for the efficient operation of the organization. And, this setup often makes innovation slow to thrive and realize. Due to constrained resources during a crisis, momentum slows down. Then it becomes possible to improve agility and innovate, iterate, and experiment faster.

Here are a few things you can do

If you want to leverage any crisis as a stepping stone, do this.

As a leader, you must create a conducive environment and ask the right questions. Since most people will be open to sharing their ideas and insights in a right and safe environment, participation from every can be encouraged. The environment often dictates performance, so use it to your advantage.

Under the right constraints and the right environment, people can get highly creative, encourage them. 

Create internal task forces to brainstorm and identify redundant processes that you could get rid of permanently. And most importantly, encourage experimentation. 

Help to improve speed, be agile so that if at all, any idea is to fail, you will fail faster and learn from it quicker.

Crisis or not, innovation requires action. First, simplify, then focus, start small, start now. 

And remember, doing beats talking!

Innovation requires action.

First, simplify, then focus. Start small, start now. Doing beats talking!

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...


How Your Leadership Can Build Desperately-Needed Psychological Safety Today

by Kathy Caprino

Thomas Dorame: “Always have a “Plan B” for when things don’t go as you expect”

by Ben Ari

Manifesto 2021

by Anand Tamboli

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.