COVID-19...20...21 - A Time To Innovate
Thank you to James Dyson Award
We all hoped in late February or early March that it would be over soon - that COVID-19 would be another “scare” and it would pass idly along; that the virus would be a faint memory as we approached April, or in the very worst case - May; that the Summer season, starting with Memorial Day and soon thereafter, Independence Day, would play out as it has over past decades, celebrating with friends and family.
As the days, weeks, and now months wane on, we are coming to grips with the reach and effect that the “New abNormal” may be with us for quite some time ahead, if not fundamentally transforming our way of life and work. According to the CDC, in this century alone, we’ve seen SARS, Swine Flu, MERS, Ebola and now COVID-19. In the prior 70 years, the world was exposed to the Spanish Flu (end of WW I), the Asian Flu and the Hong Kong Flu, but so far society remains woefully unprepared, even as the world’s population continues to expand and densely populated cities proliferate.
According to GAVI.org, The growth of the world population and its proximity to animals of all types is likely tied to this increased rate of new and deadly viruses. Urbanization, climate change, and health worker shortages are exacerbating factors cited as contributors to the ever-increasing threat of global pandemics. The truth is that the pace and ferocity of these viruses are increasing at an alarming rate.
The global lockdown that ensued from COVID-19 and our collective challenge of how to cope with it is beginning to take shape. As we head toward reconnecting with groups of people in numbers greater than 10, some of the harsh realities we now face are beginning to show. The industries across the country and the world impacted by these challenges are too many to list. High on the list however are hospitality and almost anything tied to it - air travel, lodging and restaurants to name a few. The economic ripple effects will touch many interconnected industries.
These realities bring us to a sobering conclusion: that COVID-19, which now extends to COVID 19-20, will likely look like COVID-19...20....21 and perhaps beyond. While this may seem bleak and almost overwhelming, I would contend it is a time for an explosion of innovations! We must respect COVID-19 and identify solutions to overcome its wrath, to allow for human connectivity, and thriving commerce. Human connectivity and commerce, in many ways, are key parts of a fulfilling life. It’s what we all truly want.
Innovations are the game-changers through this crisis. One of the fundamental tenets of continuous improvement we preach at ProsperCI is the importance of innovation. Innovation allows new ideas to align with the business equation. Innovations help us overcome obstacles and perhaps in these days, fears. New ideas for ways to bring a safer environment to your clientele, for example, will be embraced. One such example of this includes a service offering by a progressive-minded organization: PurpleSun.
We recently spoke with a representative at PurpleSun. PurpleSun utilizes a patented technology to apply its UV-Light system to mitigate virus presence. PurpleSun is a technology company on a mission to transform healthcare by creating the first non-chemical based standard for disinfection. A great example of how innovation is used to address problems.
New solutions to new problems are the call to arms of our day. In the coming months and years, we will see breakthroughs methodically moving us beyond our current crisis, and better prepare us for future pandemics: They will likely include:
A vaccine or drug treatments
Real-time virus testing capabilities
Improved tracing and isolation apps
Improved air filtration systems
New virus detection devices
Automated facility sterilization systems
Enhanced risk mitigation systems and processes of all kinds
New virus killing composites
A revolution in decontamination architectural and structural design from handrails, to doorknobs and everything in between
New technology and innovations will be at the forefront of delivering solutions to these challenges. While many have been raising the alarm about our lack of preparedness, it's taken a real pandemic to motivate society to confront it. Those who confront this challenge head-on to identify and develop solutions will be handsomely rewarded. People will seek ways to protect themselves and their loved ones. They will endorse those products and services that meet these needs.
The months ahead will surely reveal new solutions to our current threat. This experience has helped raise awareness of the enormous risk pandemics represent to our prosperity and our overall sense of security. These factors will meet head-on as the COVID-19 era continues. We welcome your comments about which breakthroughs will move the needle as society grapples with the next phase of this novel coronavirus. What innovations have you seen to address the crisis? Share your insights and observations to help us move forward!
About The Author
David DiPerri, CPA is the founder of ProsperCI, a business advisory firm dedicated to helping businesses thrive and CI4Biz, an educational resource for business owners and leaders. You can connect with David on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram.