We Are All Innovators


We Are All Innovators in 2020

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Regardless of your industry, profession, various role(s) in your personal life, gender, age, etc., you have had to innovate in 2020. Life changed in dramatic ways for every single one of us. Whether those changes were minimal (for the lucky ones) or completely earth-shattering and disruptive (for far too many), we have all had to become innovators and design a new way to live, work, care for loved ones, stay safe, manage households, and merely exist in this drastically changed world.

At GrowthWorks, we consider ourselves innovators along with being facilitators and partners in the innovation process with our clients. We tap unmet needs and dig into the deepest emotional needs and drivers of consumers to help our clients create positive change and have a positive impact on the world through innovation.

We are professionals at this, skilled in finding those insights and mining them to develop new solutions. And yet, we are completely awestruck by the examples of “innovation” that so very many organizations and industries had to go outside of their day-to-day worlds to deliver and do so overnight.

Looking back at the past 6 months living in this changed world, we have some kudos to give to different spaces, industries, companies, and people that helped us all weather the disruption in the world a little better via new solutions, ideas, products, services, and support systems. Here is just a short list, of many, that amazed us with their efforts:


Kudos must be given to Sesame Street with CNN (for their April, June, and September Town Halls), PBS and Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood (for its August special), and Disney with ABC (for their uplifting sing-a-longs). These content providers created timely and emotionally appropriate and relevant content to help lift us all up in our darkest moments.

All of these content and media providers stepped up their already stellar games to support all the young (and old) hearts that were struggling and broken by delivering emotionally relevant, age-appropriate content that supported us, connected us, and nurtured us, when we needed it most.


Kudos must also be given to the entire Restaurant Industry who, out of a necessity unparalleled to most other industries, became innovators overnight.

Below are some examples of beautiful innovations by members of the Restaurant Industry:

  • INNOVATION VIA PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT – Restaurants across the globe created Meal Kits, offered ingredients at wholesale to consumers, and developed branded (and beautifully designed) Cocktails to Go. These solutions, services and products gave consumers a taste of something familiar, a simple pleasure, while also keeping communities engaged with businesses they may not physically experience for some time to come.
  • INNOVATION VIA VISUALIZATION AND NUDGES FOR SAFETY – Whether arrows to support proper flows of traffic or tables with markings on where to sit (or not) – restaurants leveraged the use of visual innovations to nudge diners to safe dining experiences.


Comcast was an early helper, delivering WIFI for free to connect low-income families & students when the learning experience moved online at the blink of an eye.

When we were housebound in unprecedented ways, HBO stepped in to deliver its content free of charge for the month of April. Anyone who has sobbed through Six Feet Under’s marvelous finale (in my opinion, the best finale of any series) or was mesmerized by the brilliance of The Wire understands just what a big deal it was to escape the challenges of the world with open access to some of HBO’s all-time bests.

Wedding dress designers pivoted to make masks, 3D printers shifted to produce ventilators, retailers of all shapes and sizes became equipped to deliver curbside or in-home delivery of their products, fitness moved to the home…the examples are extensive and all should be applauded for helping to make our lives easier and safer in challenging times.

Yet despite all of these incredible efforts, opportunities for innovation remain. We would love to partner with companies, leaders, and stakeholders looking to reshape, rebuild and redefine the industries who suffering continues in this COVID environment. We are always here to talk through approaches to solving the pain that remains.

Elaine Taite

About The Author

Foresight Strategy Partner to Upland.