Economic downturn is a stressful time. Yet, it is not something that businesses can avoid altogether. Apart from the obvious problems, it usually fosters a hidden waste - that of the human potential. While average professionals are likely to get trapped in a spiral of worries and hopes, Leaders can get into action and turn this into an opportunity.  Every cloud has a silver lining.  The silver lining here is that, now, there is time to do “important” things that got sidetracked in favor of more “urgent” things during an economic upturn.

Here are 5 things Leaders do to revitalize their organizations during an economic downturn-

A wise man will make more opportunities than he will find - Francis Bacon

The quote is equally true for business. Any business exists & grows because they have customers that have a job to be done and they have products and services to help them do that. Sooner than later the marketplace becomes congested with many ‘me too’ products competing for the same pie of the market. Innovative product / services alone have a shelf life of their own and therefore beyond a point organisations cease to grow & make money with their incumbent products/services.

‘People Don’t Want a Quarter-inch Drill-They Want a Quarter-Inch Hole’- Theodore Levitt

People don’t buy products and services; they hire them to get done the job that is required in their life. Henry Ford is famously quoted as saying if he’d asked his customers what they wanted, they would have asked for a faster horse. The quote is often used as an illustration of how bad customers are at telling companies what they want, therefore every entrepreneur knows that business success stems mostly from capturing ‘what is not being said’ which is sort of a blind spot which needs to be explored to capture unspoken and therefore unmet needs.

Empathy makes you a better innovator – Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft

The greatest gift human beings have received from GOD is the power of empathy. Empathy is a combination of three things – seeing with the eyes of another, listening with the ears of another and feeling with the heart of another.
Inculcating this as a habit is of tremendous value as it can help innovators discover “real opportunities”that are underserved. Providing creative solutions for these underserved opportunities can result in the next breakthrough innovation companies are looking at.
In this article we explore the importance of developing deep empathy for customers and the “how to” of it.

Organisations powered by digitization will have to make innovation a key skill set or part of their operating culture in the 21st century. All this will be possible depending upon how they motivate their heart counts and help them inculcate innovation habits that propel an innovator in them.