Here's another good post from my favorite site - Innovate on Purpose - by Jeffrey Phillips. I suggest that you give it a read and ponder while enjoying your Turkey holiday (if in US). If not, read it and ponder anyway.
The post has to do with how innovation's value is at its highest when market conditions are tough as they are now. It will be the company's, government, or universities that innovate who will reamin on top coming out of the doldrums. They will not only be able to stay ahead of the pack while things are bad, but will spring even further forward when the recovery hits.
One of the more scary thoughts expressed is that company's who choose not to innovate at this down time risk being relegated to a permanent second class when the recovery hits. This derives as from the lack of innovation leaving them with only old products and services to sell and being forced to compete on price.
The author further explains that historically down cycles have spawned new startups with new innovative products and services that are better attuned to the new reality and customer expectations created by the down period. Innovators thus tend to take a significant portion of the market as it recovers. Innovation is a competitive advantage. Those firm with an active passion for innovation will accelerate away from the firms too focused on efficiency and cost cutting.
The article finishes with a paraphrase of Einstein stating that you can't solve new problems with old thinking. To solve new problems, you need new ways of thinking."
"To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires a creative imagination and marks the real advances in science."