Perhaps the only thing these days as common as comments of woe and catastrophe, are comments on how the recession is an ideal time for investment and innovation. Numerous organisations, including my old employer NESTA, have released reports on innovating through the recession.

We have recently been asked to put together a set of case studies on companies which have survived and thrived through a depression or recession. In particular, our client is interested in cases in which a company has emerged from a recession a stronger organisation due to some form of innovation (writ large).

We’re looking to write ten of these case studies, and I’d welcome any suggestions or thoughts from those of you Out There. These are the time periods and themes we’ve thought of thus far:

Time periods for consideration:

  • C19 Recession
  • 1930s Depression
  • 1970s US recession
  • 1990s UK recession
  • 1990s Japanese recession
  • 2000s Post .com recession

Business model innovation themes for consideration:

  • Moving into new markets
  • Switching from product to services provider
  • Customer experience strategy
  • Disintermediation / Partnering / Leveraging across value chain
  • New staffing models / wage cuts / organisational model / innovative staff relationship
  • Ownership structure
  • Industry consolidation
  • Investment in R&D

Any other ideas on these (and demonstrable case studies) would be greatly appreciated. Thoughts?