Reading time – 58 seconds – a little longer than usual – for a really good reason. . .
The coronavirus crisis has caused millions of us to work from home, which is why I found myself in my home office annex – the back yard patio – on a sunny, beautiful early summer morning, clanking away on my laptop. The wires from the pole across the backyard started to sway suddenly and my dog began a suspicious gruffing (which is now a word), and I wondered if we had a very large squirrel on the wires. The squirrel turned out to be a contract cable guy on a ladder working on the connections at the top of the pole.
I asked him what he was doing and he said that they were upgrading the equipment, essentially to provide more bandwidth for faster service. Indeed, he said that over the last two months they’ve been extremely busy with such tasks and business was great. Who would have predicted that the pandemic would produce a windfall for the contractors who work to improve internet service?
In fact, there are many companies which are thriving in the midst of our health and economic mess. Zoom has zoomed in ways they couldn’t have predicted in January. Amazon is over the top with deliveries, as we order online rather than risking our health in a store. Likely you can think of many more examples.
The point is that even in this crisis, there are opportunities and it’s the leader’s job to find them.
In the many brainstorming sessions I’ve conducted there has consistently been an obvious behavioral limitation: most people keep themselves unwilling or perhaps unable to “think outside the box.” We keep ourselves mired in what is familiar. Yet our circumstances today require us to stretch to possibilities that we might never have conjured. Happily, I have a source to jump-start your thinking as you search for new opportunities.
Rashad Tobaccowala is a futurist who has penned an insightful and most helpful essay to spark your search. You can find it here and I highly recommend that you invest 8 minutes to open your thinking.
Many thanks go to my friend Anne Smart, Director of the Loyola Family Business Center for pointing out this piece.
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