Right now, every company in the world is facing the same question: What’s going to happen when the pandemic is over? Grocery stores and consumer packaged goods manufacturers have experienced an unexpected boost in sales: Will that growth sustain? Hotels and airlines have experienced unprecedented drops in demand: Will their business ever come back? Movie studios, video game producers, and theaters need to envision how the pandemic will permanently affect entertainment habits. When the pandemic is over, many companies will find that their business model has been disrupted in fundamental ways.

Over the last several months, we’ve been working with management teams in a variety of sectors, including retail, entertainment, finance, and health care, to develop a plan for what comes next. What we’ve learned is that conventional strategic thinking hasn’t helped these companies to plan for the next “new normal.” Instead, the best answers have come from a hybrid approach: one that combines traditional business strategy with the latest thinking from social science and innovation theory.

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