Strategic innovation: Turning crisis into opportunity

Project: Research/Creation Project

Project Details


The effects of the pandemic have been devastating; it has led to economic recession, social and geopolitical tensions, increased informality, market volatility and uncertainty (ANDI, 2021; IDB, 2020; Ohnsorge & Yu, 2021; World Bank, 2020). The effect of the Covid-19 crisis, however, has not been homogeneous in every firm and sector. Despite this downfall scenario, some firms have succeeded during the crisis, created new products and services, kept their employees (or even generated new jobs), and have strengthened their value proposition. While some winning firms belong to sectors organically benefited by the pandemic (e.g., e-commerce), others belong to sectors traditionally affected by it such as entertainment, culture, truism, restaurants among others. We call the latter firms “outliers” because they appear to be performing well while their peers in the same sector are spiraling into losses. Some of these outliers have reinvented and innovated at the service, product, process, or organizational level to stay afloat, gain resilience and remain competitive. This study intends to explore the strategic decisions and actions at the innovation level implemented by firms to thrive, succeed and transform during crises. We want to identify the secret sauce for the success of these transformations, emphasizing on Colombian firms. This research aims to provide elements to answer the question: What strategic decisions and actions at the innovation level had led firms to remain competitive during a crisis? To answer this question, we will frame our findings within the literature of ten types of innovation and carry out semi structured interviews and surveys in Colombian firms.


Innovation, strategic innovation, crisis, pandemic, interviews, survey
Effective start/end date6/21/214/14/23

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This project contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth

Main Funding Source

  • National
  • Competitive Funds


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