In February I wrote an article describing how even if political stability is ensured, it will not solve the economic crisis and companies turmoil unless some radical mindset shift is operated.

Today we are in the middle of a mega multi-sided crisis (political-financial- social), the post- October 17th Lebanon will not only witness a radical shift in political, macro-economical & social aspects but also and especially in business.

Companies have to accept that that it will not be able to re-ignite their operation with a 'Business as usual' mindset. The young generation that defied the legal authorities and shook the grounds beneath a corrupt and outdated system will do the same inside the institutions where they work. They will demand transparency, equality, rights to learn & progress and be aware about the vision & purpose of their entreprise.

On the other spectrum, companies that innovate in terms of employee engagement and business models will reap unique competitive advantages. therefore, it is imperative to connect these two facets in a new social contract to liberate new energies and certainly new growth opportunities that will benefit both stakeholders.

How can that be accomplished? While businesses are in the 'wait & see' mode for political solutions, they must urgently use this time to rethink their modus operandi on all levels:

What are the opportunities to change & innovate that you would not have done in normal circumstances due to inertia and lack of time?

  1. Will your value proposition be relevant in the post-thawra time? do you need to shift your model from products-to-service-to experience or vice-versa? are the current channels to market still viable or you need to explore new more cost effective ways (digital & other)
  2. Will your Strategy stand within the new market changes? What new offerings, new customers or Customer Experience can you design & develop with the current ressources & capabilities that you acquired?
  3. How can you re-allocate your human & financial resources to support the new directions? How can you leverage your key people to play an active part in shaping the company of tomorrow? what skills they need in strategic thinking and analytics?
  4. What new partnerships you can forge to spread risks and explore new market potential?
The common answer to all the above is INNOVATION. Not in terms of technology or invention as some might think of it but in terms accepting and applying new mindset, methods, tools & approach to solve such problems that this crisis unleashed upon the country. Traditional thinking & solutions will simply fail to address these wicked challenges.

The new solutions will have to be designed around:
  • Empathy for employees and customers
  • Co-created with employees and customers
  • Prototyped to fail quickly & learn fast
  • Implemented with utmost engagement and with appropriate systems & procedures.
The good news is that you are not alone. You can always get the help of experts and we at Brandcell amongst others have been helping progressive companies to thrive in difficult & unpredictable times by showing what strategy & innovation can do to unlock new growth so that times of troubles are turned into opportunities.

Joe Ayoub- Brandcell consulting