Right now, companies need to work simultaneously across three horizons to achieve sustainable development and to protect against disruption.

Horizon 1 is the standard revenue for your current business. Horizon 2 is new goods and facilities, and Horizon 3 reflects the space for future Innovation and seeding. There has been a lot of appreciation in the corporate community for this 3 horizon approach; however, most companies struggle to implement it successfully. In Horizon 1 most businesses are too busy to commit the time and energy required to Horizons 2 and 3. All this does is leave companies vulnerable to disruption and that's where we see them now for many.

What COVID-19 has unwittingly achieved in a matter of weeks is to reduce, in some cases to nothing, the H1 revenue stream of many companies around the world. This means, many businesses need to write new business models, and quickly. The importance of seeking new revenue streams from existing underused assets would come to the forefront.

Organizations now have an option. During busy times or periods of crisis, the normal response is to concentrate only on H1 and overlook H2 and H3. However, history demonstrates that after big life changes instances like what we are dealing with now, to hunker down and hope you'll always be able to put up an open sign for the company when things are over, is the wrong decision. The flaw in this reasoning is that the habits of the customers undoubtedly would have changed. They may not want your products or services in the way you supplied them previously.


The risk of turning averted

For many, the obvious reaction will be anxiety, and, as a result, fear. We instinctively pursue protection and safety in the face of those emotions. We become averse to risk.

When we are averse to risk, we are not trying new stuff, and we are not experimenting. If this occurs, at an individual level, many grow to become companies averse to risk, and therefore all end up looking the same quickly. It is a world where a distinction is missing, and a sure road to commoditization.

After COVID-19, success will require a new way of thinking about your assets and customers, and a design mindset will be needed. Your creativity will need to be the sharpest it's ever been to get it through to the other side, and as a result, grow stronger.


Understanding how consumer preferences will shift will be a key to success in the future.

How can you innovate differently and use the assets? What pain points do your customers face the social alienation right now, and what insight can you benefit from creating a better product/service?

Nearly every industry will be affected, as this disruption is on a scale that we have never seen before. Disruption was previously thought about on an industry-by-industry basis, but we did not consider the same disruptor to disrupt everything at the exact same time.

Maybe there is an alternative

Innovation for the sake of Innovation is probably the worse idea of all.  Like anything worth doing, a structured and proven approach is best.  The same can be said for Innovation, even though there is a combination or art and science involved in any successful innovation program. The ISO 56002:2019 standard for innovation management systems is the culmination of eight years of testing, consultation, and analysis by innovation practitioners from all over the world.  This is to say, Innovation and its processes to initiate, operate, and deploy the products/services of Innovation are now governed by the new ISO standard.  If innovation matters to your business, partner with a ISO trained partner, like Ntansa, to learn how this standard is applied to improve its effectiveness.

In these unprecedented times, the power of lean Innovation can certainly help to lead organizations forward.