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A New World Order: The Time to Adapt or Die is Now

Covid-19’s impact was sudden, significant and all encompassing. However it has not necessarily been the best resourced and most “transformed” companies that have fared the best.

“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has swept across the globe impacting billions of people, physically, mentally and financially. One of the most shocking characteristics was just how quickly this happened. The speed with which our lives changed has been so sudden, that in the space of a week billions of us went from the top of Maslow’s Pyramid straight down to the bottom, focused only on fulfilling our most basic of needs such as health, food and shelter.

 

 

Who do you call in a crisis?

As it turns out, there are people out there that we regularly rely upon when shit gets real. People that get called in when things start to unravel, that find themselves shrouded in uncertain environments every day, and who know exactly what to do in a crisis.

 

​Necessity is the mother of invention

Covid-19’s impact was sudden, significant and all encompassing. However it has not necessarily been the best resourced and most “transformed” companies that have fared the best.

“Death levels all things” - Cicero

Death is the great equalizer, and no matter who you are, when you are staring down the barrel of your own survival you only have two real options; adapt or die.

 

 

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

“Emotion, which is suffering, ceases to be suffering as soon as we form a clear and precise picture of it.” - Baruch Spinoza

Nassim Taleb’s concept of Antifragility describes three different responses that can occur when things are exposed to disorder and chaos:

  • Robust things will resist the stress and remain the same
  • Antifragile things will absorb the stress and become stronger

 

 

 

“…everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms — to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” - Victor Frankl

Antifragility is as much an outlook and mindset as anything else. External events are out of our control and will bring chaos and disorder into our lives when they arrive. How we view them and how we choose to respond is up to us.

The art of the pivot

  1. Placing Small Bets: Understanding how to validate an idea cheaply, quickly and effectively is still a core capability many companies haven’t nailed. Being able to reduce the risk and uncertainty of an idea as quickly as possible is critical. Companies that are adapting to this new Covid-19 environment are able to do this well by placing a few small bets, investing in the ones that bear fruit and quickly killing off the ones that don’t.
  2. Zeroing in on Commercial Value: While many industries have declined or ground to a halt in the wake of Covid-19, there are also some that haven’t. Companies that are adapting well are refocusing their teams on the industry verticals that have been least impacted, as well as those that are likely to bounce back the fastest when the situation starts to improve. They are prioritising their focus on the commercial viability of their business model, and continually looking to adapt their model to what customers are currently seeing value in.

Get comfortable being uncomfortable

When you’re in a dark place, you sometimes tend to think you’ve been buried, but perhaps you’ve been planted. Bloom.

The impacts of Covid-19 will be far reaching and long lasting, with the only thing being certain is that things will continue to change at an extremely fast pace. Life will be uncertain, chaotic, and for most of us, uncomfortable for a very long time to come. But it is in this discomfort that we must become comfortable because it is here that our new opportunities to succeed exist.

 

 

 

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Josh Wermut

Josh Wermut

Josh is an experienced product and innovation professional having worked with clients across the Technology, Retail, Energy, Finance and Health sectors. With over 10 years experience, he has used design thinking and lean startup principles to build disruptive products and embed innovation across both small and large enterprise. By helping clients follow an evidence based approach focused on the end customer, he is able to lead transformation across the business that uncovers new opportunities to disrupt their industry. Josh is also passionate about the ability of business to be a force for social good in order to change peoples lives for the better and is a firm believer in the power of finance and technology to enable large-scale social impact and economic empowerment. In his spare time Josh is a keen runner and sportsman, and lover of all things to do with the outdoors, ocean, and coffee. Josh holds a MA (International Trade and International Relations) and a BSc (Psychology) from the University of New South Wales.

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