Happy Fishing: COVID-19 Obstacles and Opportunity


Onward is an exclusive content series authored by broadhead’s thought leaders, highlighting their unique perspectives on adapting, adjusting and pushing forward.

Written by Dean Broadhead | CEO

Onward. It’s time to reevaluate, reset and rock and roll. 

We have witnessed the fragility of business in 2020. Flying high one day and then suddenly a change — not in our business strategy, our products nor our people. But in the confidence of our business climate where uncertainty drives paralysis, instilling fear that the choices we make might be rendered naught by a devastating pandemic.  

So we wait.  

I liken it to a boat sitting in the harbor vs. out to sea during a storm. We find comfort in those harbor walls protecting us from the weather, thinking it better to wait out the worst of it. And we rationalize that we wouldn’t catch enough fish to pay for the fuel anyway. Fortunately, we are keeping ourselves busy, even using this time to make some necessary repairs and upgrades to the boat. But there is one certainty in this approach: We’re not fishing. And unfortunately, there’s some question as to whether the fish will be there upon our return. 

Sound familiar? As companies and brands seek to reignite their business, they are finding their previously in-place plans suddenly out-of-place. While we were in the harbor, the fish moved and the sea changed. 

As business leaders chart their course for the balance of 2020 and into 2021 and beyond, they’re finding obstacles to returning to business as it was. What was once core to business now may seem an extravagance. Business strategies of pre-COVID are no longer valid. Out of necessity, the world innovated. For a variety of reasons, those innovations will remain.  

Out of necessity, platforms like Zoom kept us connected. Out of expanded opportunity and productivity, they will remain. Out of necessity, we tried curbside pickup. Out of convenience, it’s now integral to business strategy. And the list goes on. 

From telemedicine to e-commerce to trade shows, COVID has upset the normal adoption curve of brands, business and digital transformation. Even as we return to some form of normal, these innovations will remain. Why? Because we’re human. And most humans are not pioneers, in that we like to try before we buy. We like to watch before we jump in. We like to take our time before we adopt new behaviors…  

Until COVID happened.  

Never before have we witnessed the incredible acceleration of innovation in how we live, work, learn, shop and are entertained in such a short period of time. Consumer expectations and behaviors have changed overnight, opening up incredible opportunity for those businesses that are able and willing to change with them. Those that see opportunity within obstacle. Those ready to take their boat out of harbor ahead of everyone else. 

The good news? The fish are abundant out there for those willing to reimagine what it takes to catch them; those willing to chart a new course. Now it won’t be easy. It will take evaluation and tough choices. But it’s time to go out to sea. Our futures will be brighter as a result. 

Happy fishing.