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18 SMT007 MAGAZINE I JUNE 2020 Feature by Dan Beaulieu D.B. MANAGEMENT What do all these companies have in com- mon: Disney, CNN, MTV, Hyatt, Burger King, FedEx, Microsoft, Apple, AT&T, IHOP, Eli Lilly, IBM, Merck, Hershey's, Coors, Texas Instru- ments, Fortune, GE, and Hewlett-Packard? They are all very successful companies with names that you recognize, but that's not the most important thing they have in common. Can you guess what it is? Give up? Each of these companies was founded in times of adversity, during an economic reces- sion. Further, each one of their stories proves the theory that "chaos creates opportunity." From the book Create the Future + The Inno- vation Handbook: Tactics for Disruptive Think- ing, author Jeremy Gutsche wrote, "Innovation is about creating an idea that fulfills an unmet need, and often, people need urgency to spot those needs." Who would have imagined, a few months ago, when we first heard about the coronavi- rus in China, that we would be where we are right now in such a short time? Who could have imagined our world order changing so rapidly—restaurants, stores, schools, and uni- versities closed; product shortages; double- digit unemployment; people walking around in gloves and masks; and news outlets con- stantly discussing COVID-19 and the statis- tics. It makes one realize what a fragile world we live in. Even in these times where we take pride in insulating ourselves with the security of insurance, good jobs, and large portfolios, it can all be threatened or even disappear in just a few short weeks. Who knew at the turn of the new year what 2020 would be like? But if we do nothing else, we have to gather up our courage, look at the future with clear- eyed optimism, and say, "We did it before, and we can do it again." But for now, let's move on with another popular saying—"It's a shame to waste a good crisis"—and start doing what those great companies did before us in their own hard times: Find a way to innovate, and find a new way to do things. If nothing else, let it not be said that we wasted this crisis. Let's take a look at the obvious needs of today. These are all markets that are going to change drastically because of the pandemic, Times of Crisis = Times of Innovation

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