The NEXT Normal
The NEXT Normal
Aug 9, 2021
The Pandemic creates a new Innovation Culture
Play • 26 min

In this episode of The NEXT Normal, we take the conversation to recovery planning, policy change and ground-level opportunities for innovation. Who will the leaders be? Where are the opportunities? What were the learning moments and how good will we be at taking advantage of them? This episode unlocks a few ah-ha moments that you won’t want to miss!


Sarah Thorne, President and CEO at Decision Partners, today’s host, highlights innovation as critical to building an adaptive and resilient society as key players plan to move forward citing the unprecedented innovation in public health during the pandemic as an example of what’s possible.

[07:18 ]- “The innovation in public health and medicine is just extraordinary and there's such an important future ahead for our scientists and researchers. But what if we all focused our thoughts and our innovation? What if we all focused on the pressing changes ahead? The radical changes in the workforce that Lisa's been talking about? Climate change? Imagine the possibility.”


History shows that we have the ability to innovate and get creative. Urban planner Dave Hardy, President of Hardy Stevenson and Associates, shares the example of the industrial revolution as the catalyst for food, water, and sanitation standards and points out that this pandemic has highlighted an area of planning that has been overlooked.

[08:37]- “What we don't have is a virus standard. We do see people wiping down tables but have they all been wiped down? Where's the filtration? Where's the disinfection? Where's the inspection of viruses. It's not there and it needs to be there along with the standards and regulations. And so to me, I see that as kind of a very low-hanging fruit in terms of what we need to do in terms of innovation, creativity, and a standard to have that for our public spaces, our workplaces, our institutions and our homes.”


Challenge Factory President Lisa Taylor shares her perspective through the lens of working closely with some of these policymakers in the public sector. She is often struck by how plugged in they are with the information and data they have collected yet change remains a slow logger jam.

[10:51]- “And, the proof point, I think that the pandemic really showed is all the public sector pivoting that took place. If they didn't know what could be possible they wouldn't have been able to do it so fast. If they had to go through a whole series of discussions and information gathering, just to figure out what to do. They couldn't have pivoted to working from home on a dime. They know what to do. It's just getting it done that becomes the problem.”


Because the nature of innovation requires starting with small cohorts or constituents, Ujwal Arkalgud, CEO and Cultural Anthropologist of MotivBase, shares a word of compassion around future planning and innovation by both the private and public sectors in the months and years to come.

[22:06]- “Everybody does not embrace change at the same pace and in the same way. It doesn't happen instantly. So, I think the one barrier that the public sector has to get past and get comfortable with is the fact that they may be designing solutions and innovating on ideas that may not work for everybody at the same time or instantly. And there has to be a comfort level with that.”


In next week’s episode of The Next Normal, Lisa takes what we’ve learned about the forward-thinking definition of innovation and guides the conversation around post-COVID skill identification and development for the workforce AND for leadership in all aspects of life.

Have comments questions or ideas for our hosts? Feel free to drop us an email at hello at StoryStudioNetwork dot com.


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