Dr Roy Stanley, chairman of Bdaily.
Jane Imrie

Bdaily's Dr Roy Stanley on the Black Swan Event of COVID-19: A catalyst for growth and innovation

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the world unlike any other event in modern history, both personally and economically.

Bdaily chairman Dr Roy Stanley has drawn on his insights into business growth to apply his theoretical knowledge to the current COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent business disruption.

In several series of articles beginning Monday May 11, Roy will examine how the coronavirus outbreak is one of the most significant Black Swan Events to affect the modern business landscape, and how the pandemic can be a catalyst for innovation and growth.

Ahead of the first series next week on innovation, Roy has outlined what can be learned from the crisis and the main points.

“Plato said necessity is the mother of invention. We are discovering during this pandemic what is necessary and what is to a large degree unnecessary.

“We are realising that key workers are necessary but up until the pandemic we have largely undervalued their contribution. We are discerning that family, friends, neighbours and community are necessary. We are discovering that health is more important than wealth.

From what we are learning in this crisis are there opportunities for businesses to up their game and prepare for the future post lockdown? These may seem strange questions given that most small and medium sized (SMEs) are focused on survival by trying to access needed funds.

However, in many cases these firms have been years in the making and involve a great deal of personal economic and emotional investment. Maybe this is the time to creatively review our business models.

“The term Black Swan Event (BSE) was coined by Taleb (2006). According to his definition the pandemic is not a BSE having been predicted for years as a high-level probability by a number of leading world figures and organisations: not an if but a when?

“The type of virus (COVID-19) is a BSE; no one saw that coming. It is a rare form of virus; it is unpredictable in its severity and rate of contagion and it is having massive economic and commercial consequences. It has brought the world’s major economies to a standstill, threatening the existence of businesses and peoples’ jobs.

“My recent research into how Black Swan Events trigger rapid sales growth in firms identified four drivers in rapidly scaling profitable businesses: innovation, internationalisation, productivity and entrepreneurship.

“These drivers are encompassed by the firm’s ability to learn and respond to what is going on around it both in its external and internal environment. These headings lend themselves to areas for a creative business review, providing food for thought and consideration.

“The first series of articles considers innovation: “the doing of new things or the doing of things that are already being done in a new way” (Schumpeter). To get going, I’d encourage business leaders to think about the following questions:

What problem does the business solve?

How does the business make money?

Who are the customers?

What do the customers expect?

How does the firm get the product or service to the customer?

How would you describe the performance of people within the organisation?“

Learn more with our Black Swan series of articles looking at innovation, beginning on Monday May 11

Looking to promote your product/service to SME businesses in your region? Find out how Bdaily can help →

Our Partners

Top Ten Most Read