The pandemic and economic depression the world faces is a dark period for all businesses, but there are also opportunities. The companies that see the opportunities, and pivot to exploit them, will succeed, while those that fail to innovate will fade away.

In this pandemic war, there will be business winners and losers. We watched with some envy as some firms, such as Zoom, Amazon and Netflix, benefited in a major way from the “stay at home” economy, the result of the Covid pandemic; but then other businesses collapsed, such as travel and tourism, hospitality, or live entertainment. And we witnessed many companies that pivoted quickly – the U.K. vacuum manufacturer, Dyson, started producing ventilators, along with Ford and G.M. in the U.S.; distillers switched to making hand-sanitizer; clothing manufacturers are making masks; and movie studios are streaming new movies instead of going through theaters.1

As we emerge from this pandemic in 2021, what about the longer term? Pundits agree that the world has changed forever, and while there will be some return to normalcy, many markets, industries and buyer behaviors have been dramatically altered for the long term. This begs the question: Will companies have to re-imagine themselves and create new products and new services, or perhaps even invent a new business model? Probably many will, and that’s already happening. The ability to pivot and innovate quickly thus holds the key to the future as the world recovers from the pandemic and the new normal starts to take shape.

In dealing with pandemic pivots, managements face two fundamental questions, one strategic, the other more tactical or executional:

1 – Strategic: Should you pivot your business, and if so, which markets should you target, and with what kinds of products or services? And how do you reach these markets? For example, MATT is an SME manufacturer of medical diagnostic equipment, selling to physiotherapists to measure a patient’s walking gait. But some patients were avoiding the physio’s office. Fortunately, advances in Lidar offered a solution, and so the company ported the application to smart phones so that people could carry out these measurements at home, guided by instructions from their phone and sending results online to the physiotherapist. Thus MATT re-oriented its business to produce at-home diagnostic equipment, selling directly to consumers – a major strategic change that involves new technologies, new applications, and new markets and customers… in short, a new business model.2 Most important, this response to the pandemic promises to create sales for the longer term, as many patients will prefer the convenience of at-home diagnosing instead of an office visit.

2 – Tactical: How can you respond or pivot more quickly to new opportunities and changing markets? For example, if that diagnostic device company uses its existing development process and methods, and simply tries to do its development projects faster, it likely won’t work well. So should they adopt Lean or Agile methods in their product development, or some other new tools? What will accelerate this pivoting process?

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The Need for Pandemic Pivots

History has many examples of business opportunities being seized during periods of crisis. A recent Forbes article reminds us that Covid-19 is not much different from other crises:3 Although the future looks bleak for some firms, there is always an opportunity. The Japanese understanding of the word “crisis” includes both “danger” and “opportunity”; thus, “from the most adverse of circumstances, such as a global health disaster, can arise innovative beacons of hope”.

During the “tech-wreck” recession at the beginning of this century (the bursting of the telecom bubble in 2001-02), Corning Glass, an innovator and major producer of fiber-optic glass cable, watched as their markets dried up and its share price plummeted from $110 to $1.10.4 But instead of cutting costs, for example by slashing R&D spending, the company recognized that opportunity identification and innovation were the keys to recovery. Corning shifted its development portfolio away from fiber-optic cable and identified a handful of promising new materials-technology opportunities, and new products were developed. By applying their existing know-how and leveraging core competencies, within two years, Corning had created four totally new business opportunities along with three new opportunities in adjacent markets (in hindsight, the best new business was large sheet-glass targeted at large-screen CTRs and TVs, whose sales skyrocketed in the years that followed). Corning was rewarded for its strategic pivot: from a half-billion-dollar loss in 2002 to $2 billion in profits five years later! And Corning is still innovating. In November, Corning announced Guardiant®, anti-microbial glass-ceramic particles that enable paint and coatings to kill more than 99.9% of bacteria and viruses, including Covid, on surfaces.

What’s the best strategy to adopt during a recession? A Harvard Business Review study of firms’ strategies and performance during several recessions provides sage advice:5 The findings are stark and startling. “Seventeen percent of the companies in the study did not survive the recession: They went bankrupt, were acquired, or became private.” And the survivors were painfully slow to recover: About 80% had not regained their pre-recession growth rates (sales and profits) three years after the recession; and 40% of them hadn’t even returned to their pre-recession sales and profits levels.”

Some firms in the HBR study elected a strictly defensive strategy, cutting costs in order to survive, but did not do well after the recession. Others chose a strongly aggressive and offensive strategy – buying companies or building totally new businesses – again with poor results. But the firms that elected the right balance between defensive and offensive moves fared the best. Such firms cut costs and improved operational efficiencies, but they also developed new markets and invested to enlarge their asset bases, much like Corning did. And they increased spending on R&D and marketing, which yielded only modest benefits during the recession, but helped to increase sales and profits afterward.

Lessons learned:

  • Be ready to pivot, to re-imagine your business, or to innovate. The wrong strategy is doing nothing at all or having no strategy – that is, simply “lying at anchor” or “drifting”. Rather, like the bold sea-captain, one must sail, sometimes with the wind and sometimes against the wind, but one must surely sail.6 A strategic pivot may be necessary for many firms, and doing nothing in the face of a storm is a formula for disaster.
  • Recognize that in the darkness of any crisis, there is always opportunity – an opportunity is simply a threat that is flipped over. There is strong proof of this: An AMEX study revealed that to meet the changes in their markets, 76% of business-owners in the U.S. have pivoted or are in the process of pivoting their business model to maintain revenue.7 Pivots are any changes to an existing business model regardless of industry. Examples include establishing online sales offerings or creating a new product or service to cater to a new demand. A similar study in Canada by CIBC revealed that that 45% of smaller businesses are using the pandemic to shift their business model, mainly by developing new products or targeting new markets.8 Considerable evidence thus exists that companies are indeed finding new opportunities and undertaking the necessary pivots in these challenging times.
  • Don’t cut R&D and new-product spending. While it is prudent to cut some discretionary costs, don’t curtail those activities that provide the way out of the crisis, namely R&D, new product development, and marketing. A study in 2016 shows that most companies, which invest heavily in R&D, do perform well in a recession.9 Furthermore, company performance during a single recessionary year can dominate its overall performance over the decade. And research in contexts as different as U.K. fast-moving consumer goods and U.S. automobile markets shows that products launched during a recession have both higher long-term survival chances and higher sales revenues.10

How to Find That Winning Pandemic Pivot Opportunity

Start with VoC: The first place to begin the search is with your customers and their needs. The HBR recession study found that “progressive companies stay closely connected to customer needs – a powerful filter through which to make investment decisions.”11 Many of your customers’ needs, behaviors and even their businesses have changed as a result of the pandemic. Some of these changes are fairly obvious, and don’t need much of a market or VoC (voice-of-customer) study. For example the trucking industry has seen its customers’ business models change dramatically – “some for the good, some for the bad.12 Their supply chains are unrecognizable from a year ago. The distillery down the road now makes hand sanitizer. The automotive supplier in the next town makes parts for ventilators. The sporting goods manufacturer you used to haul for is running its assembly line 24/7 to keep up with demand.” And so, by coordinating their pivots with their customers, truckers have already made “vertical pivots by providing new services, like pick and pack, final mile, and freight brokering. Other truckers have made geographical pivots and are running new lanes to help change the direction of their fleet.”

The Austrian SME firm, Heron Gruppe, produces automation equipment (CNC technology and robotic units), not a likely pandemic pivot candidate. But they identified the need for employee protection at their client firms, largely factory-floor production operations. Heron Gruppe then used their IT skills to develop SAFEDI or “safe distance control”, a very precise Covid detection system, complete with features needed by commercial users, such as a “close contact” tracing journal and privacy security… a winner!13

Yet another successful new product, focused on solving an immediate need created by the pandemic, is Marelli’s new virus-killing cabin air-filter for vehicles.14 (Marelli is an Italian-based automotive components maker). Shared-use vehicles, such as taxis and ambulances, had a problem of interior air quality as soon as the pandemic struck. Marelli’s R&D group rejected some technical options such as HEPA filters, but arrived at a viable solution, namely the destruction of Covid-19 virus by employing a photocatalytic process; the system combines a titanium dioxide-impregnated filter with short wavelength UV light shining on the filter.

These examples demonstrate the opportunities for product innovation in this pandemic. In the three cases just cited, the market need was obvious, but the technical solution was a challenge. Often, however, customer challenges and new needs may be less obvious than these three examples, and so it’s critical that you undertake a VoC study. Further, many firms have lost some direct connection with customers, with fewer in-person sales calls being made, thus limiting traditional sources of customer feedback. Understand your customers’ problems and issues, how they have changed their behaviors, and if they are business customers, their own pivots and new business models. Empathize with their “points of pain” and find out what’s keeping them awake at night, particularly with a view of how you can help. Live personal interviews may not be welcome today, but Zoom and other remote communication tools have become quite ubiquitous and accepted, so use these remote tools to conduct the interviews. Set up a Zoom session with one or more customers, and discuss mutual problems, how their business or life has changed, what new challenges they have, and what possible solutions might be. Properly undertaken, and with a reasonable number of customers, you are almost certain to find new opportunities for your business. During regular times, VoC has been found to be the most prolific source of innovative ideas, so it’s more important than ever now to apply this approach.

One producer of oriented strand board (OSB) suffered badly in the Great Recession of 2008-10, as house construction in the U.S. plummeted. (OSB is a 4 by 8 ft. sheet, not unlike plywood, used in North America as sheathing in house construction). One application of OSB is on the exterior wall of a house, typically under the brick, stone, or siding. VoC work with customers revealed that house-builders had major problems with OSB: It took two men two days to “wrap a house” with plastic sheet to provide a vapor barrier – a huge labor cost – and then sometimes heavy winds ripped the plastic sheet off. The OSB-firm innovated and developed a waterproof OSB system by applying a polymer coating to the OSB – no need for a plastic vapor barrier now; sealing the seams was solved by using a specially-developed polymer tape.

Upon launch, the new “ZIP system” took off, and in today’s pandemic-induced residential construction boom, one sees the green-colored ZIP exteriors of houses-under-construction everywhere in North America…. which serves as a visible reminder of the key role of VoC-driven product innovation. (Ironically, one popular brand of vapor barrier sheet which ZIP displaces, DuPont’s Tyvek, is now having production ramped up for use in PPE protective clothing during the pandemic, due to its resistant to water, abrasion, and bacterial penetration).

There are other VoC tools besides a Zoom interview. For example, on your webpage, be sure to solicit feedback by including a section that asks customers about their problems and issues, and then solicits suggestions for new services or products that you could offer, or new ways that you could service them. Thus, CanPlas Industries, a manufacturer of construction plastic products, openly asks commercial customers for innovations on their webpage, noting that “we are serious about continuous improvement, it’s why we ask for customer feedback…”. Another smaller producer of equipment in North America, which is sold through retail stores mostly to contractors, simply relies on Customer Reviews and their comments found on retailers’ websites to uncover all that’s wrong with competitive products within a product category; it then sets about to design a better offering that eliminates the complaints. While not necessarily the best form of VoC, and not a representative sample of customers, the method provides insights and aha’s, and is better than relying on one’s own biases about what the customer needs or wants.

“Be sure to understand a pandemic-fueled trend”, argues an Entrepreneur article on pandemic pivoting.15 “Because people have changed how they work, play, and shop, the only way a pivot would be successful is to consider the new trends these areas. Remote work, along with an increased dependence on technology due to social distancing, provides ample opportunity to businesses who want to find new, exciting ways to capitalize on their market.” So companies, both B2B and B2C, have shifted to using online storefronts and mobile apps to interact with customers. And some firms are relying on online delivery for their traditional “physical” new product offerings. For example, yoga studios, faced with declining attendance from fear of the virus or forced lockdowns, have pivoted and are offering online yoga classes, courses and videos.16 And it’s not just the large-company studios; even the small one-person businesses, such as Feel Good Yoga in Florida, have done this online pivot.17

Leverage your strengths and assets: When life gives you lemons, start making lemonade! Looking for ways to leverage your core competencies or build from your assets is yet another viable way to identify potential pivot opportunities. A core competency assessment usually begins with a listing and analysis of those things your business does better than your competitors (for example, a certain manufacturing capability or skill, or a technological know-how), or those assets you possess (such as a production line, or raw materials). But the analysis is always done with a view to how these strengths can be used to advantage, often in a new product or service, and let you gain competitive advantage.

SnapCab is a North American manufacturer of portable glass-and-aluminum privacy pods for use as meeting rooms for the open office.18 When the pandemic hit, small meeting rooms for offices were no longer needed. The company realized that it had the design and manufacturing capabilities to develop medical testing pods for use by healthcare workers, and so designed and developed several prototypes, and is now bringing a final product to market. But SnapCab’s pivot didn’t end there. With many people working from home, SnapCab took its traditional pod product and redesigned it into an individual home-office pod – a mini-home office to provide privacy and quiet. In addition, the firm developed the “Consult”, a two-person pod designed with a glass partition to provide a safe place for face-to-face meetings. This Consult has been coined the “God Pod” for its use for private two-person meetings in a church.

A similar story has unfolded in Australia: With a ban on large gatherings of people, Sydney-based Stagekings, a builder of event stages for performances, was in trouble. With the right skills in-house to make anything out of lumber, within a week, Stagekings had gone from creating event stages to selling stand-up and regular desks to consumers under the name IsoKing.19

In the U.S., last March, universities shifted their teaching online, leaving LoftSmart, a platform that helped students find living accommodation, without a market.20 But the firm overhauled its operation, building an entirely new platform, “Table22”, that let restaurants deliver cooking classes and subscription offerings online. Table22 has so far onboarded restaurants in 13 U.S. cities, which have generated more than $500,000 in revenues between them.

So the message is to build on what you do well, and to extend the company’s existing business model.21 Successful pivoting doesn’t rely on entering a totally new market or application; rather, understand what your competencies are or what unique asset or strength you have, and try to find opportunities that build on that. For example, Prada leveraged their unique brand image and awareness to produce a viable product, designer face mask, that will appeal to the fashion-conscious, even in the post-pandemic world. Other firms have responded with similar products that rely on significant innovation that leverage their competencies, not just quick production change-overs. Duvaltex, a North American producer of medical and technical textiles, developed and launched a highly innovative, non-medical protective face mask by using its unique 3-D-knitting technology; the mask provides maximum comfort while minimizing the risk of contamination and virus transmission.

Do the due diligence: When assessing the new opportunity, be sure to do the homework; don’t just leap in because it just sounds like a good idea. The appropriate market, technical, legal and business assessments are all required, much like in a traditional new product development, but done a little faster. Just because you are facing a crises does not mean throwing sound business practices out the window.

In doing your business assessment, note that pivots must be profitable and sustainable, and are ideally more than just a short-term fix.22 And look at your business’s core purpose: Is the proposed new product fundamental to your business or just a “bolt-on” to fill the gap for three months? “That’s not to say that opportunistic pivots can’t be solid moves, particularly when relevant to the ecosystem a business sits within,” says a UK WorldFirst article on pandemic pivots.23 For example, a distiller producing hand sanitizer or a plastics fabricator turning out plastic shields or barriers may be good moves in the short run – often such pivots are fairly obvious – but finding a longer term and more sustainable business is the real objective here… a pivot to deal with the longer terms impacts of the pandemic.

New ways to reach the customers: Pivoting may also mean seeking online and virtual ways to reach your customers and generate sales, simply because in-person sales calls and face-to-face communication is limited in today’s pandemic. And the pandemic has forever changed the behavior of customers, many who have rarely purchased online, as they discover the benefits of online shopping and purchasing. This advice applies not just to consumer-goods firms, but also to B2B companies, many of whom have been slow to embrace eCommerce. A Forester study reveals that in the U.S., B2B eCommerce “will reach $1.8 trillion and account for 17% of all B2B sales in the U.S. by 2023,” and that “74% of B2B buyers conduct research online before purchasing”.24 Further, an unexpected “91% of B2B customers use mobile devices to search for a product, and 25% use them to make a transaction.”25

Some manufacturers are taking the hint: 68% of U.S. manufacturers say that online sales have grown between 11%-50% over the last 12 months, according to the Boston Business Journal.26 Most manufacturers link their success to their own eCommerce platform or to selling through online marketers such as Amazon. If your business has not done so, now is the time to fortify relationships with customers through websites, customer portals, and social media. That’s what JPW Industries, a U.S. manufacturer of B2B and B2C wood and metal working machines and equipment, did.27 Traditionally, the company has relied on its distributors to do much of the marketing and selling. But 18 months ago, the company interviewed its end-users and discovered that buyer behavior was changing – buyers were going to the Internet to research and buy their products, buying on-line from Amazon and from other retailers. JPW had thus implemented a more customer-centric strategy, focused on creating end-user demand. To do so, they began a digital transformation in marketing, dramatically upgrading their marketing technology platform: updating websites to improve user experience, launching a new “distributor portal” to make it more convenient for distributors to order products, and other tools to make it easier for end users to research, select and purchase the right machine or equipment for their shop. JPW also implemented a number of new technologies for credit card payments, MAP (minimum advertised price) enforcement, customer ratings and reviews, product images and data, phone call tracking, data analytics, email marketing, and AI to identify cross-selling and upselling opportunities. The result: When the Pandemic hit, sales of similar equipment to the industrial market declined by 25% or more, but JPW’s sales suffered only a minor downturn, saved by a significant increase in online sales. This growth in online sales remained strong in Q3 and continues to accelerate… an excellent pivot that not only preserved JPW’s revenue during the pandemic, but has created a new business model for continued growth.

Witness the U.S. furniture maker, TOV, whose sales slumped when the pandemic closed some furniture stores.28 Traditionally, TOV had sold furniture through its two company showrooms, traditional furniture stores, and online through Wayfair. Then people, working from home, began purchasing desks and improving their home spaces, so the company saw a big increase in online sales. This was the motivation to pivot their sales model. To exploit the increased online demand, TOV ventured into eCommerce themselves with their own online business. The pivot has helped increase TOV’s sales and profits this year, and most important, averted a “bad year” had brick-and-mortar stores been the only channel. This eCommerce platform is also a pivot for the long term, as some furniture buyers will continue to use online purchasing.

Lessons learned:

  • Find opportunities to pivot by understanding your customers’ challenges and “points of pain” during this pandemic, and beyond. Undertake a solid VoC study using remote interviews, and try to find other readily-available sources of VoC as well.
  • Leverage your core competences – build on what you do well and on your assets, and extend your existing business model.
  • Do the due diligence and don’t become overwhelmed by the urgency of the situation. Make the time for a market, technical and business assessment before charging in.
  • Look for new ways to reach customers and move to digital transformation for your marketing. Create sales through websites, customer portals, aps for mobile devices, and an eCommerce platform. This is crucial during the pandemic; but some customers’ behavior has changed forever, so these new online channels will be good for the long term too.

Accelerating the Pivots

The goal of developing a Covid vaccine in warp speed has shone the spotlight on the need for accelerated product development. The trouble is that just doing what you are now doing, but working harder and faster, won’t yield the desired result. As a recent Forbes article about pandemic pivots points out: “It takes an accelerated innovation process with a redesigned rather than a merely time-wise compressed innovation journey.”29 Thus, one needs to re-think your firm’s innovation process and methods – moving to new approaches and a redesigned process. Here are four proven ways to accelerate the process and get new products to market faster.

1 – Apply Lean methodology to your innovation process: Value stream analysis is a well-known Lean Six Sigma methodology, designed to remove waste and inefficiencies from business processes; and it has seen widespread success in factory-floor settings. But the Lean method can also be applied to new-product development, specifically to make your idea-to-launch system more efficient. In practice, a small task force of knowledgeable product developers maps your current idea-to-launch process for a typical project in your business – every step, activity, procedure, and decision point. Then they walk through the process end-to-end and identify all work that adds no value and also tasks that are taking too long.30 Problem-solving methods, such as root cause analysis, are employed to eliminate the sources of delay or to shorten lengthy tasks or steps. And redesigning your process to overlap tasks – starting one task before the preceding one is 100% complete – can save time too (as the Covid vaccine developers are doing, with a “rolling approval process”). Danfoss, the Danish controls company, undertook such a Lean exercise, and over a three-year period, cut the cycle time for major projects from development-approval through to launch by half – a remarkable acceleration of the process at relatively little cost.31 Perhaps not coincidentally, this Lean approach is consistent with Agile principles, which value simplicity, defined as “the art of maximizing the amount of work not done”.

2 – Adopt Agile development methods: Even firms producing physical products have benefited from Agile Development methods in recent years. Agile Development has its roots in the software industry, where it results have been well-documented. By integrating Agile methods with traditional gating models, leading firms such as Honeywell, GE and LEGO have dramatically reduced time to market as well as getting the product right.32 Agile is incremental and iterative, a series of build-test-and-revise iterations; it is adaptive and evolutionary – the product definition and project plan change as the project moves forward; it emphasizes frequent and fast delivery of results (for example, product versions), in rhythmic takt time; and it is based on self-managed, empowered project teams. What leading manufacturers have done is simply to build Agile project management methods into the stages of their traditional gating process, replacing the more rigid project management tools such as Gantt charts, timelines, and milestones.33

3 – Use focused project teams: A lack of focus and inadequate resources – spreading people too thinly across too many projects – has been identified as a major impediment to rapid delivery of new products.34 Benchmarking studies show that top-performing businesses are considerably more focused than others, with dedicated resources for product innovation: Half the top businesses use dedicated teams for projects, and more than half have fully dedicated product-innovation groups that only work on new products. So cut back the number of projects in your development pipeline – most firms have too many projects underway – and prioritize your projects; next, focus your resources by using dedicated teams on the best or top priority projects, and get them done – on time, and in time.

4 – Deploy new digital tools: Numerous digital tools are available to accelerate the product-development process. Many were outlined in a previous article,35 but here’s a quick summary:

  • VoC using algorithms and bots to investigate user forums, blogs, crowd funding platforms, and social media postings.
  • VoC using neuroscience methods to acquire deeper insights from direct user interaction (EEG, biosensors, and eye tracking).
  • Simulations for technical- and customer-testing of a product that does not yet exist.
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality to test early versions of products in a simulated user’s environment.
  • Rapid prototyping based on 3D printing to yield early prototypes for both technical tests and customer validation.
  • AI to predict the outcomes of technical product tests (machine-learning systems and computational analyses have played an important role in the Covid vaccine quest, helping researchers understand the virus, and predict which of its components will provoke an immune response).36

Keep Your Business Agile and Flexible, and Be Ready to Pivot

The economic depression the world faces is a daunting prospect for all businesses, but there are also opportunities. Those companies that see the opportunities and pivot to exploit them will succeed, while inflexible companies will be the first to fail. “Those that cannot adapt to the ‘new normal’ will end up paying the price for building a rigid business model based on the idea that change will never come.” Of course, those that do fail open up the possibility of increased market share and sales for the survivors, allowing them to prosper even more. Change always creates opportunities, but also threatens the timid and the blind. Those businesses with foresight, courage, and the ability to change how they do business will be rewarded.

About the Author

Dr. Robert G. Cooper is ISBM Distinguished Research Fellow at Penn State University’s Smeal College of Business Administration, USA; and Professor Emeritus, DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, Canada. He pioneered the original research that led to many groundbreaking discoveries, including the Stage-Gate® Idea-to-Launch process. He has spent more than 30 years studying the practices and pitfalls of 3,000+ new product projects in thousands of companies.





  1. Source of examples: Nesbitt, J., “3 Key Ways Companies Are Pivoting Business Models to Stay Profitable Amid the Pandemic,” TradeReady, Sept 15, 2020.
  2. Source of examples: Nesbitt, J., “3 Key Ways Companies Are Pivoting Business Models to Stay Profitable Amid the Pandemic,” TradeReady, Sept 15, 2020.
  3. Mayer, H. M., “Innovation Due to Covid: Yes, But How?” Forbes, Aug 2020.
  4. Kirk, B., “Creating an Environment for Effective Innovation,” Proceedings, Stage-Gate Summit, Clearwater, USA, 2009.
  5. Gulati, R., Nohria, N. & Wohlgezogen, F., “Roaring Out of Recession,” Harvard Business Review Magazine, March 2010.
  6. Paraphrase of quote by Oliver W. Holmes Sr., “The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table,” The Atlantic Monthly, 1857-58. Available at: The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table: Holmes, Oliver Wendell: 9781406813173: Books –
  7. American Express, “The Entrepreneurial Spirit in the United States Remains Strong,” Oct 2020.
  8. CIBC, “Why Pandemic Pivots Could Make Small Business Stronger in the Long Run,” Globe & Mail, Business Section, Nov 12, 2020.
  9. Morbey. G.K. & Dugal, S.S., “Corporate R&D Spending During a Recession,” Research-Technology Management, 35, 4, 1992, pp 42-46. Published online: 27 Jan 2016.
  10. Kumar, N., “Don’t Cut Your Marketing Budget in a Recession,” Yield Pro, Aug 24, 2020.
  11. Gulati et al, , reference 5.
  12. McCarron, M., “Prepare Your Fleet for a Pandemic Pivot,”, Oct 8, 2020.
  13. Source of Austrian example: Peter Fürst, MD, Five I’s Innovation, Austria. See:
  14. Weissler, P., “Marelli’s Covid-Killing Cabin Purifier,” SAE Mobilus, Aug 21, 2020.
  15. Porteous, C., “The Core Elements Needed to Pivot Your Business During the Pandemic” Entrepreneur, Oct 27, 2020.
  16. Vandal, J., “The Best Online Yoga Classes, According to an Obsessive Yogi,” The Strategist, Aug 20, 2020.
  17. Source:
  18. Editorial staff, “Pandemic Pivot Highlighted in Export Development Canada’s ‘Business as Unusual’ National Advertising Campaign,” CISION News, Oct 5, 2020.
  19. Kaye, J., “The Pandemic Pivot – How Businesses Can Embrace Change,” WorldFirst Blog, Nov 19, 2020.
  20. Kaye, reference 19.
  21. Porteous, reference 15.
  22. Porteous, reference 15.
  23. Kaye, reference 19.
  24. Bonde, A., Bruno, J., Wu, S., Ruhl, C. & Birrell, R., “US B2B e-Commerce Will Hit $1.8 Trillion By 2023,” Forrester, Jan 28, 2019.
  25. Inci, D., “Why B2B E-Commerce is a Top Growth Sector Today,” Forbes, Apr 21, 2020.
  26. Henry, M., “The Post-Pandemic Pivot for Manufacturing Companies: Findings from Industry Pulse Survey,” Boston Business Journal, Nov 15, 2020.
  27. Source of JPW case: M. Ludwig, VP Marketing, E-Commerce & Customer Experience, JPW Industries, LaVergne, TN, USA.
  28. Nesbitt, reference 1.
  29. Mayer, reference 3.
  30. The Lean value stream analysis method applied to a new-product process is in: Cooper, R.G., Winning at New Products: Creating Value Through Innovation, 5th edition, New York, NY: Basic Books, Perseus Books Group, 2017, pp 171-180.
  31. Jørgensen, B.B., “Agile Stage Gate at Danfoss,” GEMBA Innovation Conference, Copenhagen, Apr 2018.
  32. Cooper, R.G. & Sommer, A.F., “Agile–Stage-Gate for Manufacturers – Changing the Way New Products Are Developed”, Research-Technology Management, 61, 2, Mar-Apr, 2018, pp 17-26.
  33. Cooper, R.G. & Fürst, P., “Agile Development for Manufacturers: The Emergent Gating Model.” InnovationManagement.SE, Nov 10, 2020.
  34. Cooper, R.G., “Idea-to-Launch Gating Systems: Better, Faster, and More Agile,” Research-Technology-Management, Jan-Feb 2017, 60, 1, pp 48-52.
  35. Cooper, R.G. & Fürst, P., “Digital Transformation and its Impact on New-Product Development for Manufacturers,” InnovationManagement. SE, March 11, 2020.
  36. Waltz, E., “AI Takes its Best Shot: What AI Can – And Can’t – Do in the Race for a Coronavirus Vaccine,” IEEE Spectrum, 57, 10, Oct 2020, pp 24-67.
  37. Porteous, reference 15.

Featured image via Unsplash.