Responding to our New Normal

Written By

Megan Stephens



Posted On


We're in this together. We will persist.We’re in this together. And together we will learn, grow… and persist.

We are all facing a new normal. Amidst the chaos of worrying about the safety of our loved ones, the future of the world and learning what it really means to “shelter-in-place,” business is continuing. It must continue. But it will be different. Because with crisis, comes change and opportunities for invention and creativity.

Our reason for being at Willoughby — to use the power of design-thinking to make our world better — has never been more relevant.

Like so many others, we are officing from home, homeschooling our kids and humming silly tunes while washing our hands. We are simultaneously working with clients to help navigate this new territory. Across every brand category, business leaders are all asking similar questions:

  • How can we be of service?
  • How can we pivot our business to remain solvent and take care of our team?

And while no one has all the answers, some of the most inspiring solutions have come from brands that have stayed true to a strong core vision and clear reason for being. It’s that visionary strength that leads to a distillery converting to produce hand sanitizer and a curbside pick up website launching overnight.

As you are thinking through how to be a servant brand in a time that needs all hands on deck and how to keep doing business in a mindful and compassionate way, going back to your core is a good place to start.

Core Values

When we guide clients through developing a set of core values, we define 4-6 tenants that are so core to their culture that no matter what happens in the world around them, they will never change. If there was ever a time to test the solidarity of your core values, it’s now. They should be at the center of every decision you make.

Core Purpose, Reason for Being or Why

Revisit why you get up every day to do what you do. We think of this as the star you chase every day and, when you reach it, you know you’ve achieved something great. Figure out how you can continue pursuing your why in this new climate.

Positioning or Mission

Who are your audiences and how have their needs changed? If you have the means, this might be your time to give back. If your income stream is being affected, this might be your time to look for new partnerships, a new product solution or a different service offering. Now is a time to test those new ideas, move quickly and ask for feedback as you go.


As jarring as the current global situation is, it is important to remember that we are all in this together. Society as we have known it will come out of this changed. If we come together to support our communities with imagination and hardwork, perhaps we can emerge from this unprecedented moment changed for the better.

Stay safe, stay positive and know the hive is still buzzing from the shelter of our individual places should you need anything.