In the past 6+ months, the world has turned upside down. We have never faced simultaneous health, economic, social crises at the global scale that we are currently experiencing.

We long for things to get back to normal. I dream of sitting in an airport–going to visit a client. Or sitting in a restaurant, enjoying a meal with friends, or going to a concert or the theater, or getting back into the gym. It’s natural to want to get back to our “lives.”

But, the pandemic, has created a tremendous opportunity—individually and organizationally. It is forcing us to disrupt ourselves, to reconsider, reinvent, redesign everything we do.

Too often, the day to day pressure of just doing our jobs diverts us from thinking of what we might do and how we might change.

Alternatively, our success might breed complacency or an attitude of “why change?”

Or we are just blind–clueless.

What usually happens to disrupt us, to get us thinking about change, is we start having problems. What used to work, no longer does.

Alternatively, something happens competitively, forcing us to rethink and respond. Whether it’s developing new products, changing our marketing/sales strategies, changing our market position.

Or our industry/markets are restructured by a major new competitor. For example, think how Netflix has disrupted (read put out of business) Blockbuster. Or how it is disrupting the networks and movie/TV production. Or how Amazon has disrupted so much in B2C and retail. They threaten the survival of our companies and our industries.

Sometimes, we are slow in recognizing these disruptions. We become complacent and fail to recognize the continual need to learn, change innovate. We become prisoners of our own experience and fail to recognize the need to change, or the opportunities we are missing.

Often, it’s very difficult to be the disruptor–even if we want to be. The risks are high, we feel “alone.” The results may be slow with a long ramp to success.

The current situation has created, for everyone, the NECESSITY to change. Disrupting ourselves, rethinking what we do, why we do it, how we do it is a condition of survival.

It also enables us to discover and seize new opportunities.

And we no longer have the risk of being the pioneer, of doing it alone. We have a level playing field where everyone–at least those who want to grow and thrive must change–they must rethink everything!

Of course, there are those that fail to recognize this. They keep thinking of, “When things get back to normal,” reflecting on what they had always done and continuing that.

In today’s world, they become road-kill.

Let’s not lose the opportunity created by these crises. We can’t fail to acknowledge the pain and suffering so many have experienced. But at the same time, we have this tremendous opportunity to grow, thrive, and triumph.