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  • Rowan Norrie

Pathway to new normal

Navigating new ways of working

#everydayinnovation #innovation #strategy


The coronavirus pandemic has created a massive health crisis and has restructured our economic and business environment. Every industry has been affected, some more than others. Restrictions in our ability to operate or manufacture, our supply chains, routes to market and customers – everything is still in turmoil.

Some businesses are in pure survival mode. Others are limited in what they can do and are planning for the new future. That is impossible to predict, but whatever else, you can be sure it will be different from how we used to operate.

How can we prepare for this new normal? We have identified 4 phases to help us navigate in these challenging times:

1. Coping with uncertainty. Key challenge here is ensuring business continuity, making sure all employees stay safe, managing cashflow and establishing new modes of working. This might mean how to manage slow downs to demand; conversely it may be how to deal with sudden influx in orders. After several weeks, most businesses are still in this phase to some extent.

2. Building resilience. Reports have indicated that the economic fallout from this crisis is likely to cause the biggest disruption in decades. Governments have acted to provide immediate assistance, but it is unclear whether this will be in any way enough. In the face of such uncertainty, individuals and businesses need to develop broad resilience capabilities to ride out the storm, identify new opportunities and have the flexibility to adapt to new trading conditions and (re-)define their businesses.

3. Planning for new reality. Part of the resilience will be the ability to take time out, to explore what current and future opportunities might emerge. This requires a combination of insight into the underlying strengths and core competencies for each business, combined with an understanding of the changing landscape.

4. Thriving in new reality. Finally, as we emerge from the immediate crisis, and the new reality becomes apparent, we shift into how to grow and scale in this new environment.


At True North Innovation, we have created work packages to help our clients through these difficult times. We will continue to blog and share tips and tools to manage each of these phases.

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