I like this… in Designs for Hard Times, the battle cry for the Cebu furniture industry brutalized by a global recession is “Resilience through greater creativity.”
When the environment changes, the species within that environment are forced to adapt. Some species will come out stronger because the previously dominant species have lost their position. Other species will die off in the new conditions.
Being human, we are lucky that our ability to adapt isn’t exclusively determined by our genes, but by our culture as well. We can have “species” of ideas that flourish, die off, and recombine to adapt to the circumstances.
So what are we to do when times change? Hunkering down and weathering the storm can definitely be one approach: think of how resilient spores and bacteria can be. But another way is to redouble your efforts in doing serious creative experimentation.
Notice I say serious. I’m not talking about trying anything and everything in a panic to do something. I’m talking about all those other ideas and projects that you put off for short-term gain (for example, consider the fact that GM already had advanced design ideas for hybrid vehicles years ago, but never acted on it). Or brushing the dust off your personal R&D department that you’ve neglected (such as reading books, doing market research, and building prototypes).
Respond with more not less.