The Gifts of the Pandemic | Stronger Through Adaptivity

This is the fourth post in my series titled The Gifts of the Pandemic.

One day they were making hockey masks. The next day Bauer was producing face shields for healthcare workers.

One day Sonny’s BBQ served guests in-restaurant. The next day they were running an effective curbside pick-up operation.

Bauer and Sonny’s BBQ are just a couple of examples of clients I’ve worked with that will emerge stronger through the pandemic’s adversities.

So far in this series, we’ve looked at pandemic gifts or teachable moments that include:

  • Learning
  • Humility
  • Empathy

Upcoming installments will focus on:

  • Clarity of Values
  • Gratitude
  • Human Experience Elevation

I realize the title of this series can be a bit jarring. How can the pandemic provide “gifts?”

When it comes to adaptivity, the pandemic forced many companies to pivot or perish. Such was the case for Kendra Scott, a retailer that sells fine jewelry, fashion jewelry, beauty products, and home accessories.

Kathryn Pace, who was the Senior Human Resources Director, told me how Kendra Scott re-enlivened an entrepreneurial spirit and adaptivity in response to closing retail stores early in the pandemic. According to Kathryn, “We’d been super-high growth for many years, but we were starting to hit a place in our maturity curve where things were taking longer, and bureaucracy was creeping in. We used the pandemic as a way to speed up value delivery and reengage an entrepreneurial perspective. That shift got us moving faster than we thought we could have imagined. For example, we had online ordering and store pick-up slated on a technology road map for about a year out. We were able to make that a reality in six weeks.”

Given the lessons shared by Kathryn, let me pose your weekly challenge questions concerning how you have or will become stronger through adaptivity.

  1. Has your entrepreneurial spirit sparked during the pandemic? If so, what are the opportunities you have seized?
  2. Where have you shredded bureaucracy, yielded hesitancy, and acted with urgency?
  3. Where might you still be able to move faster than you’d previously imagined or expedite elements of your technology roadmap?

For more about adaptivity and “pivoting with purpose,” I hope you’ll pick-up or gift a copy of my book Stronger Through Adversity, which provides more than 20 pandemic forged lessons from 140 plus leaders like the CEOs and Presidents of Target, Verizon, Kohl’s, Microsoft, and Marriott. When you purchase the book, you’re helping those who are fighting the pandemic since a portion of the book’s proceeds is donated to the international nonprofit Direct Relief, which provides food and supplies to those on the frontlines.

I also hope you’ll join my guests and me for LinkedIn Live conversations every Thursday at 12:30 p.m. Eastern. Until then, may you be Stronger Through Adversity thanks to the gift of adaptivity.

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Joseph A. Michelli, Ph.D. is a professional speaker and chief experience officer at The Michelli Experience. A New York Times #1 bestselling author, Dr. Michelli and his team consult with some of the world’s best customer experience companies.

Follow on Twitter: @josephmichelli

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