A global pandemic like this has never been seen before and it has forced us into a new pattern. What I call skill shifting. People around the world are learning to use the expertise and knowledge that they have built over years and years of hard work, to do something else. Something new. Shifting their skills into a new arena.
This time of uncertainty and quarantine has brought out the creative side in a lot of us. Many businesses have had to pivot away from their traditional niches in order to survive. There are restaurants delivering exclusively to frontline workers or to children who don’t have school lunches any more. There are manufacturing plants that are pumping out personal protective equipment. There are chemical manufacturers and distilleries producing hand sanitizer by the gallon. There are even individuals using their sewing skills to make masks.
You may be hoping to just hunker down and ride this out, but as stay-at-home orders continued to get pushed out farther and farther, we’re clearly going to be here a while. As a business owner, now is the time to get creative. What skills does your company have that you can shift to a new focus? What materials, goods, or services does you company have access to that you can use in an innovative way? And you don’t have to come up with all the ideas yourself, how can your employees help you pivot in order to find a new approach to operations? Tap into the skills, experience and creativity of your team.
This inventive thinking will not only help you get through the present crisis, it will also make your company more resilient in the future. You’ll better understand the real assets your company has and how to use them to their fullest.
For many businesses, this is the only way to survive right now. For most it still doesn’t mean profitability, but it does keep their employees at work. Giving them a salary and a purpose in this time of crisis. But even more than that, it gives hope. It is proof that the human spirit cannot be crushed, that there is no limit on human ingenuity. We will and we are finding a way through these unprecedented times and we will come out stronger on the other side.
Stay safe and stay healthy.