Should you stop innovating in a recession?

Many businesses are tempted to cut costs and keep their heads down during a recession. According to innovation consultancy Innovaro, however, there are at least five good reasons to ramp up your innovation efforts during hard economic times.

  1. As others lose, you gain: If other companies are cutting back, a recession may be a great chance to pick up or poach some top-notch staff.
  2. Don’t unbalance the business: Innovative projects tend to be high risk, high reward. In a recession, safe and steady may be a priority, but cutting even the best innovative projects could unnecessarily cut growth.
  3. People will notice: Pulling back on innovation could undermine the perception of your business in the market, both among customers, investors and potential employees. Are you a leader or a follower?
  4. You stop looking outward: Pulling back on innovation can trigger an inward looking business culture, with a focus on internal processes and achievements rather than opportunities in the market.
  5. What about after the recession: On average, recessions are quite short, generally less than a year. But afterwards, competitive pressures will be just as intense. If you stop innovating and your competitors don’t, who will be better placed in the market when growth picks up again?

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