Conquering a Crisis with Innovation Management

Conquering a Crisis with Innovation Management 2560 1748 Digit AI

This is an article written and published by our partner Planbox.

Right now, the challenge of adapting to transformations and disruptions in the business world is more real and more urgent than ever. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations have been thrust in a vicious cycle of uncertainty that has them confronting unprecedented setbacks.

Historically, innovation in times of crisis grows exponentially. Improving current business processes and services is a mandatory solution to successfully navigating the crisis. This makes effective innovation management critical for fighting against the current setbacks.

However, this pandemic shows how important it is to leverage sustainable innovation now and after this crisis for the long-term growth of your business. Innovation is being embraced by organizations all over the world in new ways, and it is here to stay as the new norm.

COVID-19 is already sparking the next generation of innovation as companies realize the importance and potential of a culture of innovation. Innovation management can be leveraged to conquer a crisis now and generate sustainable success for the future.

Building Your Defenses

Innovation tends to be a do or die concept for most businesses, and this is never more true than during a crisis. It is likely that you have already seen the effects of this around you. Innovation is a powerful line of defense against disruption and unpredictable events that threaten your business. Reacting in these situations can be dangerous compared to taking prepared action. Sometimes there is no other choice, but that is why this pandemic has proven that creating sustainable innovation that is agile is so important.

By creating a flexible and adaptable work environment, you can build your defenses and better prepare for if and when there is a future crisis. To deal with the current situation, innovation management platforms provide the stability to generate innovation now while building a base for long-term strategy.

Most importantly, sustainable innovation requires commitment from executives, employees, and the organization as a whole. Uniting the organization with a common goal and expectation for innovation provides support for surviving the current crisis and leads the company in a positive direction for the future.

Driving Sustainable Innovation

Building a profitable and sustainable innovation strategy requires clear communication, open collaboration, market research, and the effective use of technology. Agile innovation management platforms are built for organizing and executing innovation activities for any business of any size in any industry with all of these things in mind.

Not only does this manage innovation, but it manages the challenges presented by a crisis so that deliberate action can be taken to overcome setbacks. The goal is to stay ahead of the curve and ready to adapt at a moment’s notice. The pandemic has created a business environment where flexibility and quickness beat competition.

Organizations should prepare to face this as a market expectation moving forward. Adopting agile practices company-wide creates a culture of innovation that dominates during times of growth and perseveres during times of crisis.

Preparing for the Future

The future trends of innovation management predicted great leaps in technology and business capabilities, and the current crisis exemplifies why it is so important to take advantage of new resources. The current landscape demands a move away from physical services, which makes a move toward digital processes and services critical. Open innovation solutions make collaborating virtually easier and more efficient for businesses facing physical restrictions. It has long-term value as well for creating a culture of innovation whether or not physical limitations are in place.

The value of transparency has been on the rise, but COVID-19 made transparency an important market and customer expectation. Sharing innovation processes allows for extreme speed in producing products and services that meet current customer needs that are largely unprecedented.

Sustainable innovation is a high priority that cannot be put off any longer. We have only seen the beginning of COVID-19’s impact on business, but it is proving the need for agile flexibility and adaptability for future success. Having a culture of innovation means adopting methods that go beyond making improvements by accident or in response to a crisis.

To prepare for the future of work and future trends, an effective innovation management solution can help you develop a strategy that drives sustainable innovation.

For tips and advice on navigating the current crisis while building a long-term plan, check out Planbox’s COVID-19 Business Threat Challenge Starters. Or contact us via for a free first consultation.

My Predictions For The Post-Pandemic Corporate World

My Predictions For The Post-Pandemic Corporate World 2560 1748 Fadi Jawdat Al-Hindi

We’ve long suspected the need to develop a virtual world, where the core of business longevity stems from a complete digital transformation. COVID-19 seems to be making our case for more zero touch and online interactions. While this transformation is not new, it is being accelerated due to the isolation, social distancing norms set in place globally. How does one operate in a world driven by physical distance? Simple. You revamp the paradigm.

Around the world, the transformation started taking place years ago when companies began replicating certain elements of their brick and mortar business model on online platforms. The automotive sector welcomed virtual showrooms, healthcare sectors started telecommuting consultations, the education industry began online classes and distance learning so students across the globe could receive their degrees without travelling to the University/school locale. But the catalyst, COVID-19, created almost a worldwide emergency requiring companies to adapt and adopt technologies overnight that could help them mirror their physical office practices in a virtual ecosystem.

Having seen the success rate and increased productivity rates over the past two months, we’re painting a picture of a post-COVID corporate world.

Post-COVID Work Life

As offices switched to all-online mediums of communication, as with an actual physical setup, cyber security is always a factor to be considered. With the increase in the number of employees working from home, information sharing is all virtual and altered quite dramatically, so the challenge fell on the in-house tech geniuses to create remote work capabilities that are safe, secure and mitigate misuse.

Working remotely permanently was first implemented by Twitter in March as a response to the virus onset. They explained that this decision was made in line with their ‘distributed workforce’ endeavors. Telecommuting and a hybrid of in-office + Telecommuting is where we’re headed post-pandemic. The need to conduct webinars, virtual meetings and a more digitally enabled workforce is crucial now more than ever because of the long-term benefits. Most organizations will not be returning to the old way of conducting business even as the country reopens operations.

Apart from the obvious health benefits to social distancing and working from home, the company faces reduced costs, reduced emissions while indirectly motivating their employees because of the new work-life balance that’s created. We are at the cusp of a post-COVID reality and in the position to reinvent the workplace.

Post-Pandemic Business Meetings

A major impact has been on corporate travel. Flying across the globe for business is not the same anymore and possibly not as safe anymore. We’re looking at a more limited future in terms of travel; regional travel may be safer as compared to international. This change, from the airline’s perspective, is beyond drastic. We’re looking at a complete 180-degree turn in the way in-flight entertainment and food is served, the seating arrangement, coach and business class pricing, especially considering the reduction in capacity travel.

The New Corporate Standard

While the world is seeing redundancies, furloughs and a significantly large unemployment rate, we are resilient. We’re seeing entrepreneurial spirits on the rise, SMEs taking the lead in technological advancements and a contact-free economy that, based on previous experience, will birth new disruptive brands that will sustain the post-pandemic world. Brands that are now helping us in this period, Netflix, FedEx, Google, Facebook, WhatsApp, and so on were formed post-economic recessions and are now part of our daily lives.

For consumers, brands are now being held to a new standard. Business priorities have to change completely, and resources need to be repurposed to cater to today’s challenges (reduced in-store footfall and impulse purchases) while communicating a responsible, CSR plan. Consumers have now become more conscious of the brands they interact with and this is fueled by their compassion for frontline workers currently. To maximize their brand impact, donating a portion of their sales to hospitals or partnering with like-minded brands is important for raising their social status.

This means a significant drop in luxury brand purchases is expected, unless, they are able to keep their sense of purpose on the surface to allow the customers to experience their compassionate, responsible side. Our consumers are becoming more conscious of the efforts in brand development and identifying CSR as a driving factor for brand loyalty. For SMEs and startups, shelving an idea until the market rebounds may create a missed opportunity and acting swiftly is fundamental.

We’re at the brink of a revolution that could create a unique algorithm for corporate functions moving forward but the thing to remember is, resilience is key.

Finding Opportunities in a Crisis

Finding Opportunities in a Crisis 1280 2276 Fadi Jawdat Al-Hindi

It’s been an interesting 2020 for the world so far as we battle through these unprecedented times. When I first fully understood the gravity of the pandemic and the implications of the lockdown, like many I felt paralyzed. I still do some days – this is the truth! And this is probably why it took me a while to get back on social media.

After 30-years of a professional career in consulting and working for organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, DEWA, Smart Dubai, and others, I left a year ago to start my two businesses, DigitAI, an Innovation & Management consultancy specializing in Artificial Intelligence, and, an InsureTech Startup out of Abu Dhabi Global Markets. So not only did I feel alarmed and deeply concerned along with the world about the COVID-19 that was sweeping through the world and the global stock markets plunge, I couldn’t help but feel a deep sense of sadness towards value destruction taking place for businesses, startups and the economy.

But when adversity comes, so does opportunity. If there was ever a time for businesses to innovate, digitize and automate their processes, it is now.

Challenges are Opportunities for Innovation
10 years ago, the economy was in free fall from the 2008/ 2009 recession. But from these ashes emerged some of the biggest tech giants including Uber, Pinterest, YouTube, Air BnB and Slack. Yes, recessions can be detrimental for businesses, but they also bring forth new market opportunities, digital innovation, and reduced market competition. Investors and entrepreneurs around the world have said that the COVID-19 we are presently fighting is the “world crisis” for a startup and broader economy since the great depression.

As organizations and governments around the world mandate employees work from home to reduce the spread of COVID-19, many businesses, such as airlines and hotels, have been hit hard. And as automakers, malls, shops and commercial, physical locations are forced to close, COVID-19 is revealing the physical-digital divide: Universities and schools have made a shift to online learning, restaurants have transitioned to online ordering and delivery, and video conferencing platforms users for platform like Zoom and BlueJeans have skyrocketed. Delivery giant Amazon encouraged their staff to work overtime to try and cope with the huge demand. We are beginning to see a rapid organizational transformation across industries which is very quickly changing and shaping the future of work as we know it.

Digitization is the New Standard
After working on large-scale digital transformations for the majority of my career, I know how difficult digitization can be for established and traditional organizations to adopt. And to complicate it further there is now an additional layer required for a digital operating models: virtual work.

Before companies digitized and leveraged Machine Learning & Artificial Intelligence and other emerging technologies to be better, faster and stronger. In my career, we used digitization, Machine Learning, and Artificial Intelligence to automate tasks that tripled teams production, recovered Millions of dollars from fraud, and improved the type of work for the workforce. But now, digitizing is not just a great recipe for improving your operations and increasing your bottom line. It’s far more fundamental for worker employment and the public’s health. The stakes have drastically, and quickly, increased.

In my next article, I will be revealing 3 things that leaders and organizations can do in the wake of this rapid digital transformation. What else would you like to learn? I would like everyone to know that I am here for them and happy to help in whatever way I can, whether it’s a quick Zoom call to brainstorm ideas or a large-scale digital transformation project planning, I am here and ready.

Additionally, DigitAI is lending a hand “pro-bono” to assist organizations with their data to solve problems using Machine Learning & Artificial intelligence. Please email me at

DigitAI Webinar: Innovation in the Face of Covid-19

DigitAI Webinar: Innovation in the Face of Covid-19 1707 2560 Digit AI

Over the years, we have found many organizations are uncertain about how to structure innovation programs, how to staff them, and whether or not they are pursuing the correct portfolios of projects. There is also an added pressure for Government departments following the mandate of innovation by the Federal and Local Governments.

And then the Covid-19 pandemic arrived! As society is quarantined at home in an effort to curb the spread, businesses have been forced to innovate and digitize their offerings – and FAST.

Facilitated by DigitAI Senior Partner Fadi Hindi (Ex C-suite of Takaful Emarat, DEWA, Smart Dubai, Dubai Customs, and Dubai Government) and Tariq Elsadik DigitAI Partner – Innovation Management & Professional Development, Brett Trusko President and CEO at The International Association of Innovation Professionals, Frank Voehl, Chairman and CEO of 20-20 Innovation, and Rick Fernandez, President of 20-20 Innovation, as well as CEO and Founder of Swarm Vision Suzan Briganti, and CEO of Planbox Ludwig Melik, this webinar brings decades of global innovation expertise under one roof.

Want to get in touch with us for a follow-up consultation? Are you interested in the presentation slides of the webinar? Drop us an email at and we’ll get back to your request.

What innovation topics would you like us to cover in the future?

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