Strategies for a new normal

As we chart our course towards recovery, many of us are questioning where we want to recover to. A return to a business-as-usual environment is not necessarily an aspiration shared by all. A fantastic outcome for New Zealand and its regions would be if we can use COVID-19 as a reset to think about how we can do things better.

Luckily, I am not alone in these views. During lockdown, my days were filled conversing with economic development professionals across New Zealand to grapple with some of the bigger issues. For me it was one of the most intense, but prolific periods of deep thinking in my career.

I am proud of the way I supported a variety of organisations conceptualise not just what was occurring during the here and now, but how they could leverage off the situation as a catalyst for a different future.

Case study: Queenstown Lakes District

One of the organisations I helped was Queenstown Lakes District Council in my own neck of the woods. QLDC realised pretty early in the piece that thinking about a different future would be particularly pertinent and asked me to prepare a report on diversification.

The report gave baseline analysis of the current state of diversification in Queenstown Lakes and guidance as to what strategic approaches to diversification have been taken by a number of case studies across the globe.

COVID-19 is an existential crisis for the businesses and lifestyles of many across the district. And this time it feels a little different – people seem to realise we can’t just return to the same old, if we want to see a resilient and productive future.

The challenge though is that diversification is a long game. We have the call to action, but we must be bold and think long-term in whatever we do.

Click here for the full report, and feel free to get in touch if you have any questions.