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June 17th, 2021

4 Reasons the ‘New Normal’ Means You Need Design Innovation

Design Innovation happens only after first investigating the human-centric issues that underpin various problems, challenges, or opportunities facing your business. That research, analysis, and contemplation are where insights are gained and game-changing ideas are born.

We believe every business should go through this introspective process on a normal basis. However, there are times when introspection is forced upon us—times that put aspects of our work into a new perspective. Times that require new ways of thinking and behaving.

Luckily, we don’t often have to face a challenge that changes the way the entire world thinks, behaves, and acts. But we can all acknowledge that COVID-19 has done just that.

These times, when you wrestle with new challenges, you have to take a hard look at your purpose. What is it that you are trying to achieve for the company you are building and the community you serve?

This ‘new normal’ that’s been dealt to us isn’t a consequence of a business decision or choices we had control over. Because of this, it’s made it harder to step outside of ourselves and realize how much more there is to consider. No one person, thing, or entity was unscathed over the last year and a half. The people we work with, the companies we work for, and the communities in which our businesses operate will perhaps never be the same.

Rather than focusing on the past and what has changed in this ‘new normal’, let’s shift focus to future, positive progress and meaningful connection. Here are 4 reasons you need Design Innovation to ensure your business is relevant today and for the future.

1. You’ve Changed.
Have your interactions with loved ones changed over the past year? Have the routines in your home evolved to meet the needs of those within it? Do you shop differently? Has the way and frequency with which you travel changed?

Undoubtedly, the answer to all these questions is yes. If you’re anything like the rest of us, you’ve gotten much better at navigating it all, but there is still plenty of room for improvement. The empathy needed for innovation begins with the empathy and grace we give ourselves.

2. Your Colleagues Have Changed Too.
Have you had fewer lunches and outings with your coworkers? Are you less in-tune with the moods and mental states of those with whom you work? Do you know how your colleagues’ lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic?

It’s safe to say the people within your company have changed, which means your culture has too. Have you really taken the time to analyze if the vision for your brand is still a fit? If not, you should. Ensuring that your brand’s purpose, mission, and vision still align with your internal culture is critical to communicating and connecting externally.

3. The Business World Has Changed.
Have you spent less time having face-to-face business interactions and more time in virtual settings? Are you introducing yourself to new partners, team members, or customers through a screen or from a distance without shaking hands? Has your supply chain been slowed down or halted? Have you had to find new pathways for commerce and meeting your customers’ needs?

‘Business-as-usual’ is no longer a thing. Even if your business didn’t struggle over the past year and a half, the world around it did. Because of this, it’s imperative everyone reconsiders and analyzes the ‘new normal.’ As our CEO, Jamey Boiter, wrote at the onset of the crisis, “In times of crisis, reputations are built (and destroyed).” Now is your time to address these challenges, solve critical business problems, and capitalize on groundbreaking opportunities. Your business depends on it.

4. Your Customer Has Changed.
Like you, your customers’ thinking, behaviors, and expectations have changed. The question is, do you really understand how those changes have affected or will affect your business? Your brand?

The questions to ask are (1) do you understand your customer in their ‘new normal’? And (2) has your mission, what you aim to provide for your customers, been recalibrated to meet them where they are?

What we know is that the first step for Design Innovation is gaining in-depth understanding of the behaviors, motivations, and values of the people in and around any problem, challenge, or opportunity facing you and your company.

COVID-19 has created all three—problems, challenges, and opportunities—and the first step is to identify and understand how and why they affect the people connected to them. Only then can you align your company, brand, products, and services for the ‘new normal.’

If you’d like to learn more or if you’re ready to start, we’re here to meet you where you are.

Click here to see more about how Design Innovation can help you get beyond COVID-19.

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