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Is Covid-19 also driving a revolution of creativity and innovation?

Creativity and Innovation

First introduced in 1992 as an advertising and business concept by TBWA's chairman Jean-Marie Dru. The term "Creative Disruption" refers to a radical change in a marketplace brought about by the overturning of existing conventions.

Thanks to Covid-19, we are now living through one of the largest overturnings of those conventions in modern history. While it remains to be seen how far-reaching and long-lasting the damage will be, it is safe to say many of these changes are likely to become permanent.

Businesses across the globe have been forced into the radical alteration of their models in order to survive. Many have developed creative solutions to deliver their goods and services in the time of widespread economic shutdown. Some have even managed to thrive in the era of the “New Normal.”

Restaurants have shifted their business model from dine-in to delivery and curbside pickup.

Musicians have found creative solutions to reach their audience through “Facebusking” or performing in social isolation via live Facebook feed.

Other industries find themselves undergoing massive structural changes in daily operations that may in fact change the very nature of the services they provide.

According to a recent Forbes article, as much as 20-30% of all doctors' visits may now permanently shift to telemedicine. Even though Telemedicine has been around for a while it has taken a pandemic to thrust it into the forefront of routine healthcare.

Based on a survey by Sage Growth Partner (SGP) and Black Book Market Research, 25% of consumer respondents had used telehealth prior to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Fifty-nine percent reported they are more likely to use telehealth services now than previously, and 33% would even leave their current physician for a provider who offered telehealth access.

The implications of this shift could be massive.

While there is no doubt that Covid-19 will continue to change medicine and commerce, has the pandemic unleashed an even larger change in society?

Has it changed you personally?

On an individual level, many of us who have been furloughed or quarantined during the pandemic have seen this same disruption of our daily routines play out in other ways.

From personal experience, being stuck at home with a three-year-old for an extended period of time has forced my wife and me to work on creative solutions for all manner of pandemic induced madness.

I’m sure the parents in the room will agree.

But something else happened as well… Something I’m not sure I expected.

At some point during the first few days of the outbreak, we got a call from our son’s daycare letting us know that one of their employees was being tested. I immediately notified my employer and was promptly asked to quarantine.

A week later my workplace closed. I was at home, with pay thankfully, for over 8 weeks.

For the first time in my adult life, I found myself with nothing to do. Other than our regular household duties and looking after our son, we were “free” to do what we pleased. All be it under some pretty tight restrictions.

Of course, like most everyone else, a lot of our energy was focused on managing anxiety over the impending end of all things.

But after a few days, once it was clear that the end wasn’t quite as nye as advertised, something else happened.

I suddenly found myself with the luxury of time.

No schedules to keep. No projects to manage. No workplace drama. No deadlines.

Nowhere to go really.

Just time.

I wrote. I painted. I made music. I spent time with my family.

I did all of the things I would have expected.

I also found that I stopped doing something I really hadn’t fully understood that I was even doing.

I stopped treading water.

I stopped obsessing over the trajectory of my career. I stopped worrying about my 401k. At that point, I figured it was a lost cause anyway.

I stopped counting the days until the weekend.

For that moment, I allowed myself to sink into the abyss. I thought about where I’m at right now. I thought about my relationships both with those around me and with my own habits and thoughts. I thought about my relationship with fear and failure. I thought about my anxiety in growing old.

I thought about my own proximity to death.

And I started thinking about what I really want in life.

We all consider the concept of LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE but, for me at least, that pipe dream usually blows itself up once the alarm goes off Monday morning.

I am deeply appreciative that I have had the luxury to experience this moment in time with relatively minimal stress.

So far at least.

I know that many are not so fortunate and are either dealing directly with the impact of this terrible disease, losing loved ones, losing jobs, or all of the above. I also understand that, as I write this, cases are again on the rise and that the light we thought we saw at the end of the tunnel might in fact turn out to be a freight train.

Even still, now that I’ve had real time to think about it.

Now that I’ve been forced to sit with myself for a while, I understand that I can’t just tread water anymore.

My guess is I’m not the only one that has had this experience.

Maybe it is still ultimately a pipe dream.

But I am making a statement.

I am saying out loud that my 9-5 does not define me.

It took a pandemic to disrupt my routine.

Maybe this is the kick in the spiritual teeth I've needed.

Maybe you feel the same.

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