A story in the newspaper noted that a local lawn care company was “crazy busy” as customers worked in their yards while homebound. Apparently, the combination of being sheltered in place plus the arrival of spring weather has novices working to start gardens, tend to lawns and attempt landscaping in far greater numbers than in a typical year.

It got me thinking about what other businesses are going to benefit from this pandemic. There are the obvious ones, like Amazon, Zoom, delivery services, masks and ventilator manufacturers and even those who make toilet paper or hand sanitizer – all of whose products are in high demand. But I’m sure others will realize a positive shift in their business as well.

Office supply stores have seen an increase in people needing to order extra supplies to suddenly equip a home office. Instructional designers and web experts now have talents that are sought after in new ways. Food products that have a long shelf life – pancake mix, rice, cereal, flour – are all being purchased in additional quantities and those who manufacture boxes for shipping are working overtime. I predict estate lawyers will see an uptick in business as the virus brings our mortality into a clearer view.

Certainly, COVID-19 has caused economic devastation and challenges for many more than it has helped. And, at the same time, it has fostered creativity and innovation for businesses to deliver their services in new ways: virtual activities and instruction from schools, take out ordering for restaurants that would have never considered doing so before, online arts performances and lessons, and so much more.

The landscape is changing. How can you change with it and position your organization as a provider of what is now needed – even if people did not realize they needed it before?

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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