Our July Coverage on Learning from Lockdown

By Lilly Milman |  August 4, 2020

After months of remote work and global lockdowns, a few key lessons have emerged about how to cope with the uncertain — and often sudden — changes. We adapted to the shifting job market and virtual interviews. We hosted more exciting online meetings. We became more empathetic. 

This past month, our team has been learning, too. We held our first two-day virtual conference, titled “Charting the Future of Corporate Innovation.” We also began publishing replays from our series of workshops, including interactive exercise to work through alone or with a teammate online.  

We’ve gathered the best pieces of advice from our online coverage to share what we learned this past month.

1. Don’t Hold Out for a V-Shaped Recovery, But Do Plan for a Post-Vaccine Future

When it comes to the economy, Matt Ranen suggests that teams temper optimism. A bounce-back to economic boom times, is unlikely. “We’re past the possibility of a V-shaped recovery at this point. All money should be moving toward U-, L-shaped, and W-shaped recoveries,” says the scenario-planning consultant.

According to Ranen, Teams should also be scenario planning for three different horizons — the immediate near-term, the longer-term before a vaccine is developed, and the long term, post-vaccine. Read our full interview with Ranen to learn more about what will snap back, what won’t, and how to move forward.

2. Keep Diversity in Mind When Building New Products 

According to Irina Kozlovskaya, Director of Industrial Design at Fitbit, teams should recognize the importance of diversity when building new products. That starts, she says, within the company. “Make sure you have diverse staffing, because the first thing you want to do is get a lot of different ideas and different perspectives that will help you avoid…pitfalls in the first place,” Kozlovskaya says. 

Then, teams should test products with a diverse group of end users — involving people from many ages, races, genders, and geographies. “Talk to people from New York City, and also from Iowa,”  Kozlovskaya says.”Because a woman’s experience…in New York will be very, very different than her challenges in Iowa.”

Listen to the full podcast episode for more tips on connecting with consumers to improve products. 

3. Be Specific About Your Value-Add when Job Hunting 

Innovation leaders who have found themselves in the job market face hiring freezes and fierce competition for open positions. Before sending in an application, make sure your resume best reflects your accomplishments in previous roles. 

“Including information on a resume that specifically details what you personally did to help an organization reach a milestone/achievement is important for an employer in understanding…what you bring to their role,” writes one respondent to an InnoLead survey fielded in late June of 2020. 

In addition to analyzing survey responses, we also collected information on open positions and job-seeking advice from innovators. 

To learn more about employment opportunities and to see the full scope of our research, read the full article

4. Adapt to Your Senior Leaders’ Top Priorities  

How can teams reprioritize their portfolio of work, and bringing leaders along? In a workshop titled “Navigating Priority Changes at Your Company,” Bestselling Author Brant Cooper shares best practices for problem-solving with the C-suite. 

In the session, Cooper leads participants through an exercise where they write down top priorities for the C-suite, what metrics matter to the group, and projects that might interest them. The goal: To understand the mindset of CxOs and get buy-in. 

“Innovation people can [lead] by developing empathy for the leaders and understanding what drives [these leaders]…and what keeps them up at night,” Cooper says. Watch the replay to learn about your role as an innovator in shaping your company’s response to COVID-19. 

5. Stop Fighting Virtual Meetings & Focus on Finding the Right Platform

For people accustomed to the serendipity and chemistry of in-person meetings,  virtual replacements were a temporary solution that they begrudgingly accepted. However, it’s time to accept that they are here to stay. 

Fortunately, there are many more creative solutions past the standard Zoom meeting. Embracing some of these exciting new collaboration tools will only help as you continue to navigate a mostly remote, or even hybrid, world. Read our full article to learn about all the tools at your disposal, and all the emerging technologies that are on their way to revolutionizing virtual meetings.