April 2, 2020

Repurpose and Retaliate: How Businesses Can Help in Times of Crisis

Michel Gagnon
Michel Gagnon
CEO of Stun&Awe

If you don’t live in a cave, you should know by now that these are difficult times. Every newscast, every radio show, every social media post talks about “trying times”, “testing times” and “ unprecedented times.”

I’m sorry mate, but there’s no playbook for these things. We’re all in this together, while also strictly a few meters apart.

Resources may be stretched in your business and the economic outlook uncertain, but there are many ways you can contribute to the effort of fighting the virus.

Can Your Supply Chain Save Lives?

Plenty has been said about the sheer scale of economic hardship that is being faced across the world, but there’s also stories of companies repurposing their assets and ways of working for the greater good.

For example BrewDog, the Scottish Brewery, has transformed its brewing plants into an operation that produces masses of hand sanitiser and is giving them away for free to National Health Service (NHS) staff and carers across the British Isles.

BrewDog has used its infrastructure and supply chain that is already in place, and leveraged it to create a completely new product that will help save lives and prevent the spread of disease across hospitals in the U.K. In short, they’ve seen the bigger picture and decided to be massive legends.

Is there some more off-the-shelf thinking that you can use from within your business to help in ways that are workable for you, but beneficial for others. If BrewDog can go from beer to bacteria (or viruses, to be exact) then I’m sure you can step up to the plate and do your part.

Collaboration Providing Positive Action

If you’re a bit familiar with us at Stun and Awe, you may know how gung-ho we are about collaboration. While it can be sometimes messy, it can often create absolutely fascinating undertakings. In a coronavirus world, it’s nice to see some big hitters bat for the side of collaboration.

Just this week, Mercedes Benz F1 team and University College London created a breathing aid, in just under a week, that can help keep coronavirus patients out of intensive care. The plants used by Mercedes can produce 1,000 of those machines a day. Let’s see a big salute for these guys.

Also in the UK, a coalition of tech initiatives created COVID19 Tech Response (CTR), a group whose mission is “to find technology solutions to help people during the COVID-19 crisis.”

The group brings together a number of initiatives including, coordinating the supply of available tech talent, providing a library of resources, and offering a direct line into local community efforts. The group already counts 400 tech volunteers together.

In Germany, the Federal Association of Startups, the Bundesverband Deutsche Startups e.V., launched a website full of public resources, analyses and events from startups for startups related to coronavirus.

Software engineers and leaders of various tech companies also got together to create a pairing service where you can find and offer help during the crisis. You can sign up to help someone in need near you.

That’s what we mean by fascinating undertakings. Thumbs up!

Think of the Little Guy

On another note, one of the first things to get cancelled during the Coronavirus pandemic was sport. Large, localised gatherings of people in football, tennis, cricket, F1 and more were quickly considered surplus to requirements, with little or no objection.

This was absolutely the right thing to do. In the grand scheme of things sport doesn't come at the top of the list of priorities right now. And that’s O.K! Nobody wants to watch a car drive around in circles (no disrespect to the fans here) while they’re worrying about their family or their jobs!

But that hasn’t stopped sport leading the way in looking out for the smaller guy, proving that there’s more to the industry than opposing fans shouting at each other from a distance.

In the German Bundesliga, four football teams have created a 20 million Euro fund to help teams in the top two tiers survive the crisis when all revenue streams have dried up.

Borussia Dortmund, Bayern Munich, RB Leipzig, and Bayer Leverkusen, the clubs to have set up the solidarity fund, are leading the way in economic and sporting integrity.

And this is an idea that local businesses can help each other do, too.

If you’re part of a business that has seen a smaller effect of the crisis, why not try and shop local? This can be anything from raw materials to services, and anything in between. We’re all in this together and if we pull through, we can help drag each other through the crisis and support our own industries and beyond.

Defeat the Downturn

It’s all very good offering advice, and there’s plenty of great companies doing some awesome work across the world, but each company needs its own strategy to tackle the Corona crisis, and come out the other side too.

Of course, we’re not delusional. Maslow's hierarchy of needs still applies. You need to keep your startup afloat first before playing Mother Theresa out there. While the lockdown in many countries may well have been a kick in the butt for your company, there are very actionable ways for you to lead and protect your startup during this pandemic.

This crisis may be the greatest opportunity for you to grow spiritually as a leader and to redesign your business to execute like clockwork and build the future. Local stores are doing delivery services, Mercedes F1 are building medical equipment, coalitions of tech startups are developing platforms for people to support their neighbors.

What will be your fascinating undertaking?

If you don’t know yet, check out how we can help your business become sustainable and grow successfully during hard times, growth spurts and more. Check out our free video training, tools, and services.

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