Innovating in a COVID-19 World

Author: Danielle Marquis, Esq., Published on: May 28, 2020

 Innovating in a COVID-19 World

My husband and I went to college together; we’re familiar with “working together alone.” It was how he wrote his thesis on McCarthyism and I wrote mine on Post-Soviet Russia, two feet apart on a hand-me-down couch in a cramped upstairs apartment in a sketchy part of Schenectady, NY. Headphones firmly planted in ears.

But until COVID-19 hit, we never really worked from home together, except for the occasional snow day. And on those days, he was more likely working from the couch with Sports Center on in the background, while I toiled along like usual in my home office.

Fast-forward to present-day. Two plus months into our “new normal,” we work two feet apart in my home office: me at a standing desk, him at the desk that was originally put there for our kids to do homework when they got off the bus.

They no longer need it because they do online school from their beds.

Our worlds have all collided in ways we couldn’t have imagined in early March when I got the email from HR telling me to come home from my current client Innovation Summit trip, and to cancel all other travel for the next two months. I’ve had to convert multi-day collaborative workshops into virtual sessions, become a super-user of digital whiteboard tools, mentally prepare myself for six hours of video meetings a day, buy my dog a bark collar, and rotate three different pairs of headphones because I now wear them all day.

But the most surprising part? All this togetherness and change has helped me lead my team to innovate in unexpected ways. I've learned lessons from the healthcare industry, K-12 education and even the subscription boxes that show up at my doorstep. 

This is just part of an article I wrote that was recently published in Energy Central. Check out the original article for insights and examples on innovation across industries—and how to use them to drive the energy industry forward.