Nothing could prepare the world for a global pandemic like COVID-19. As infections around the world go up, governments are taking more drastic actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including introducing lockdowns, curfews and movement control orders. Unfortunately, their actions will also indirectly impact and hurt businesses large and small alike. This is why during a crisis, is it even more important to continuously innovate.
Whilst, several organizations have turned to the Business Continuity Plan (BCP), a process designed to address the operation survival during a short term crisis, we come up with a way to keep innovating, not just to survive but to continue to innovate to fight with the crisis.
Our firm, RISE — a regional corporate innovation powerhouse that works with various multinational and governmental organizations to accelerate the speed of innovation through a library of programs recognized by more than 400 organizations across Asia, saw many corporations struggling with the current crisis and recognizes that there was a gap that was not addressed. This was that in every problem, there could be an opportunity to be seized, and as such, We went on to develop the Innovation Continuity Plan™ ( ICP).
“During the crisis, corporate leaders hold the key to the survival of an organization and its employees. Their role is to ensure that its business, as well as its people, is able to survive. Ideally, they should think about how they can come out better on the other side by turning any challenges into opportunities. With this mindset, hopefully, the organization can rise up and help others to move forward together for the country and region.” — Dr. Kid Supachai Parchariyanon, CEO and Co-founder of RISE.
What is the Innovation Continuity Plan™
The process of developing and executing strategies to address potential business opportunities that occur during a disaster to not only to ensure the company survives but also continues to create new values during and after the disaster.
Why does the ICP Matter?
Creating new opportunities: help open your mind, change your perspective. To create new opportunities for businesses in crisis
Encouraging employee participation: the opportunity to help people in the organization are involved in finding new solutions together
Fostering new collaboration: enabling collaboration with outside. To be able to implement the strategy more quickly.
Exploring new value: create new value to the business by both economic and social values
Start the Innovation Continuity Plan™ with Innovation Continuity Canvas™
Innovation Continuity Canvas™ (ICC) is the easiest way to get started with Innovation Continuity Plan™. It is a simple step-by-step process that helps rank the importance of what needs to be implemented in the ICP and ensure that the various stakeholders are aligned to the common goal.
Innovation Continuity Canvas™ consists of four key areas (What, How, Who, and Value) and nine addressable situations.
>> Download the full version of Innovation Continuity Canvas™ here at bit.ly/ICPbyRISE_EN
WHAT: What is happening with the business?
1. SITUATION: What is the crisis and how will it affect our business?
2. MISSION-CRITICAL: What is needed for business survival?
HOW: How will businesses find new solutions?
3. MINDSET: How can we see our business from a different perspective?
4. STRATEGY: What do we need to do to achieve our “Mission-Critical Goals”?
5. TECHNOLOGY: What kind of technology will be used to enable the business to implement the strategy?
WHO: What resources will the business need to develop a new solution(s)?
6. COLLABORATION: Who can we partner with to implement our solution faster?
7. CHANNELS: Which channels can be used to communicate effectively to the target group?
8. RESOURCES: What do we need to perform all of the above — people, budgets, or assets/facilities?
VALUE: How do we measure success?
9. VALUE: What indicators economic and/or social value can we measure?
Innovation Continuity Canvas™ in Action
Case Study 1: Fashion E-commerce Platform pivots into the F&B business
HOW: What can the company do to improve its revenue without heavy investment or major cost-cutting exercises? How might they leverage on their strength(s) to pivot into something else? Firstly, the company already has a strong e-commerce platform. In this situation where people don’t spend on luxury items, could their platform be used to market and sell daily essentials?
WHO: As their platform can serve as an online marketing tool to push for more sales/purchases, to enable the implementation of the plan quickly, the company decided to explore partnerships with food & beverage outlets and last-mile-delivery players. The company also has strong digital marketing skills and curated social media channels, so they can start selling to their existing customers and followers.
VALUE: A new revenue stream coming from selling non-fashion items by leveraging an existing platform that has an existing team with product and digital marketing capabilities, as well as, online payments offering.
Case Study 2: How a traditional classroom style and highly experiential workshop can be replicated online.
WHAT: The outbreak of COVID-19 in Thailand does not seem to have an end in sight. The government has issued a curfew and may proceed with a lockdown soon. Campaigns for social distancing and staying/working from home is advisable to reduce the spread of the pandemic virus. This has drastically impacted on RISE’s highly innovative hands-on experiential workshops. What can we do to continually serve/give our clients the same experiential without physically meeting them?
HOW: The path was clear to the team, that moving the training to a digital platform was the most ideal way to service our clients. Once the digital workshop is built, it can be easily accessible to those with smart devices and computers. As such, the RISE has also made the pricing more affordable to encourage more people to take up the learning. As well as creating a Toolbox that gathers tools and equipment like those used in normal workshops. In order to get a learning experience that is as close to studying as possible in the room and deliver the toolbox to all participants at home.
WHO: To enable rapid implementation of the plan, RISE collaborated with teachers and trainers that can design/provide access to training content. From there the content is gamified to ensure an interactive learning experience. To help promote the workshop, RISE turned to its network of partners who are also involved in the innovation space to quickly experiment, test, validate and scale. It also leverages its social media team and various Key Opinion Leaders (KOL) to create more awareness of the new programs.
VALUE: A new revenue stream from an entirely new offering that can reach more customers locally and rapidly expand into the region.
What are the factors that will make the Innovation Continuity Plan™ successful?
The ICP is not a “solve-all” solution. On its own, the ICC can address certain challenges but it is best used with other innovation tools to create a more holistic solution.
An important factor that we continually come across during our development of the ICP is the concerns/openness of the mindset of the organization’s leaders — these could be the Founders, C-Level Executives, Head of Divisions/Departments or a supervisor of a team. These leaders in the organization must first be bold enough to change their attitudes towards innovation.
They can start by looking at the 3-ways below:
1) RISK over SAFETY: Dare to risk more than hiding in a safe zone
Leaders with innovative thinking will choose to try something new even if it involves taking some (but calculated) risks. The payoff may be better than doing the same thing over again and expecting a better result.
2) SPEED over SCALE: Make it faster before growing it bigger!
Innovation doesn’t have to start with a large project or throwing millions of dollars into R&D. Innovative leaders know that they must pay attention on how to develop and test innovation assumptions quickly and affordably. And if they fail, they fail fast (and cheap). If they succeed, then it is easier for them to scale faster.
3) PRACTICE over THEORY: Learn from doing, rather than reading
There are many examples of organizations that invest considerable time, money and resources into researching rather than doing (or experimenting). We believe that just doing is equally important if not more than researching as it allows us to get deep and meaningful insights from customers or users. This information can be applied to the development of better innovations.
With a bold new attitude armed with the ICC will certainly assist in the success of the ICP.
We’d love to hear your questions and feedback as we will also learn and iterate fast. We developed the ICP and ICC with only one goal — Everyone needs to survive after the crisis and we hope it could help leaders and business owners to frame their thinking and thrive through the tough time together.
>> Download the full version of Innovation Continuity Canvas™ here at bit.ly/ICPbyRISE_EN
Be healthy and don’t stop innovating!