Will this pandemic force businesses to work smarter, not harder?
Pivot has infiltrated our vernacular on a monumental scale over the past few weeks as businesses have been forced to adapt to five years worth of change in five minutes

As the tsunami that is COVID-19 washes over the global community, the world as we know it seems to have collapsed. Our new reality exists at the intersection of ordinary and urgency.  From the comfort of our homes, three coping mechanisms seem to have emerged: bake banana bread, drink red wine or if you’re the owner of a small business – pivot.

For businesses to stay relevant, and in some instances afloat as the COVID-19 catastrophe unfolds – they have had to change their marketing plans, strategic objectives and on a whole other level their day-to-day operations.  Thanks to government regulations, businesses have been tested like never before. Working from home was just one of many curve balls thrown at industries. Along with our kitchen benches becoming our bars and our living rooms becoming our cinemas, for many of us our dining tables have become our desks. 

While businesses across the globe have dappled in satellite operations for decades, COVID-19 has catapulted flexibility in operations to the foreground. For some, it’s been a seamless transition – for others it’s been a difficult adjustment. 

When I started the project of launching Wanderlust Swim digitally, we intentionally built the business around flexibility – heroing a dynamic and ever-evolving business model that pushes the boundaries of the traditional nine-to-five. As such, we’ve been lucky – seamlessly adapting to the COVID-19 operating rhythm (or lack thereof). 

When building the business model, one of our guiding philosophies was to bring together complementary skill sets and talent regardless of perceived barriers such as geography. This organisational structure coupled with implementing third party logistics has provided our team limitless opportunities. Flexibility in operations allowed us the autonomy to think differently. And in thinking outside the box, we fostered  collaboration on an unprecedented scale.

Perhaps now, as businesses pivot in order to navigate the unchartered territory that lies ahead, we will collectively accept that traditional systems and processes may stifle modern creativity. When life eventually returns to some sort of normal, people may no longer necessarily be brought together by a shared workspace but rather by shared beliefs, beliefs that foster outcomes, efficiency and creativity. COVID-19 just might be the catalyst that removes barriers to strategic thinking, encouraging us to work smarter – not harder.

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