Insights | Blog
Forefront 2020 – Issue 2
COVID-19. The ability to achieve success is the ability to timely act in a changing environment. Many crises create opportunity. While those opportunities are not easily seen by people that focus solely on the crisis, those entrepreneurs who critically think on how to adapt and seize the gaps in the market as the doomsayers retreat often enjoy unexpected success. A wise basketball coach once said, “never interrupt your opponent when he is making mistakes.” That is a priceless and insightful thought. Don’t follow the herd. Think proactively on how this situation is an opportunity. I have had many owners who have spent the last 5 years acquiring businesses who have now had to take a hard look at their bloated overheads that somehow have mushroomed overnight. Today they are running leaner, smarter and more profitable. Others have filled gaps and openings in the market by competitors who have shrunk or have aggressively backed away from opportunities because of paralysis from the pandemic. Others have shifted manufacturing capabilities or developed new products to meet a healthcare demand even though healthcare was not a core competency or target market. “He who hesitates has lost” is certainly true today. Don’t lose. Seek opportunity. Objectively reassess. Critically plan. There is no better time than the present.
In closing, I would only share that sometimes the market is not what it seems. I figured with work-at-home strategies, big office space would shrink. However, based on several recent studies, demand for space could increase or perhaps double as corporations have to provide more space for social distancing even with some of the workforce working remotely. The demand for open space is shrinking as interior designers and decorators are designing more enclosed and safe spaces for people to work in. Open gathering places in corporate office culture may shrink and be repurposed. The need for different kind of furniture configurations with shields and more dense barriers may be the new norm causing demand for more furniture and fixtures to rise not shrink. The author Malcom Gladwell has produced several books that would appear to form conclusions that buck the common perception. This is now a time to critically think, gather data, and chart new courses. I hope this latest edition of Forefront will incite some critical thinking to make your organizations stronger. – Patrick O’Keefe