Resilience. The key to success during unprecedented times. Part 1: When in doubt, innovate.

What have you done in the past year to innovate your business?


It is clearly an understatement to say that the past year has been a challenging one. COVID-19 has impacted all of our lives, changing the way we interact with family and friends, educate our youth, food shop, run errands, spend leisure time, and, of course, perform our jobs. It’s the suddenness of these changes that has compelled every salesperson to reconsider the importance of resilience: the ability to “recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.”


It’s fair to say that we may never revert back entirely to the way life was prior to the pandemic. But what will endure are the lessons we’ve learned and continue to learn about the nature of change and the necessity for resiliency, particularly in sales. Over the next few installments, each of my blogs will cover do-able strategies you can practice to foster resiliency at work. The first one is the importance of being able to innovate despite unforeseen or overwhelming obstacles.



Curiously, the restrictive nature of the pandemic has provided many industries an opportunity to re-engineer their businesses through common-sense strategies, to think outside the box from within. Their ability to innovate in the face of these challenges helped them not only stay open this past year plus, but also create new business channels to thrive.


Restaurants, Dining, and Ghost Kitchens

Facing limited or no sit-down revenue, local restaurants quickly understood that this constraint did not lessen their customers’ hunger. The solution? Outdoor dining bubbles and convenient curbside pickup/delivery models, or a combination of all. Chili’s restaurants, in partnership with online delivery service DoorDash, elevated one of its best-selling selections into an entirely separate brand, “It’s Just Wings.” The food is prepared within Chili’s and Maggiano’s 1,050 kitchens. According to Wyman Roberts, CEO of parent company Brinker International, Inc., “It’s Just Wings” has generated more than $3 million in sales per week since last June.


Now we see many idled kitchens breathing new life by becoming Ghost Kitchens. Like the “It’s Just Wings” model, a rollout on a national scale to provide fresh, locally prepared and delivered options are popping up all over. The beauty is the assets to cook already exist, along with the talented chefs that are ready to work. With an increased demand in the take-out/delivery model, everybody wins!


The entertainment industry

Likewise, the entertainment industry has modified their distribution channels during the pandemic. People are willing to pay premium prices for streaming services. Consider Netflix, who reached a total of 203 million subscribers—with a price increase—in 2020. That is a 31% increase compared to 2019. In a letter to shareholders, Netflix stated “…we’ve been able to provide our members around the world with a source of escape, connection, and joy while continuing to build our business.”



As we all know, financial models in the printing industry have been changing for some time. But the good news is print is not going away. As a matter of fact, its footprint is growing in many markets. Recently, Publisher’s Weekly reported that all major printed book categories posted huge gains, with unit sales jumping 22.7% for the week ending January 16, 2021, over the comparable week in 2020. With more discretionary time, people of all ages are returning to printed books.


Innovating to leverage your business assets within our new terrain is a major key to resiliency.


How have you fostered resiliency in your professional and personal workspace this year? Let me know in the comments sections. I look forward to connecting with you.


In the meantime, stay well and in touch!


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