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How to reimagine a business after COVID-19

What does it take to reimagine a business and bring it back successfully in this next normal?

Well, I think it's important to understand this is not just about returning a business to what it was. It's about reimagining what it should be given the changes that this current pandemic has created. And I think there are four essential steps.

The first is to rapidly focus on revenue recovery. And that really means understanding your customers, looking hard at how they've been impacted, segmenting the customer base, and then focusing in on the segments where you have something to offer that is distinctive, because that's going to be especially required in this next normal.

Secondly, rebuild operations. You can't just go back to restoring the supply chain that you had or the manufacturing process that used to exist. It's vital to understand how those need to change and evolve. And we've already seen people start to do that. For example, one retailer I knew had taken 18 months to study the possibilities of curbside pickup. Well, of course, in this pandemic, that's become the norm. And in three weeks, they were able to put into action something that had taken 18 months to study.

Thirdly, the organization. It's got to be agile. It's got to find a way to take up the mantle of the quick decision making that has already been happening in this pandemic and make that something that is lasting, and the way business is done in the future. Many examples of that, I'm sure in your own businesses, where you've seen decisions taken with less data but more rapidly with greater sources of feedback than ever before. And we've seen that across countless businesses. That's the kind of pace and speed which makes normal demands.

And fourth, digital. Digital adoption. Finding ways to operate more rapidly, using digital commerce, but also digitizing internal processes. We've seen a lot of companies take their digital handbooks that they've been wrestling with and thinking about for a long time and put them to action. It's why we're seeing telemedicine, automation and other features grow much more rapidly than in the past. And that's going to be required in the future. So, it's not just about return. It's about reimagining, as you return.

The role of the public library has evolved over time. As we move online at an even faster rate, knowledge, entertainment and opportunities for education and employment are found on the internet. Those living in well-connected, affluent places may have come to take internet access for granted. But there is a digital divide in the U.S. that has left people at a disadvantage – particularly since the arrival of COVID-19.

Finding ways to overcome that divide in a sustainable, community-led way could help bring the benefits of the internet to those who need it most. One solution is to use technologies such as TV white space to facilitate wireless broadband – as Microsoft's Airband Initiative is doing. To read more about Microsoft's work with public libraries, visit Microsoft On The Issues.

Who does Vladimir Putin want to win the US election? Given the Kremlin's well-documented efforts to sway the 2016 vote in Donald Trump's favor, it's certainly a fair question. And while there's no solid evidence that Russian interference had any decisive effect on the outcome four years ago, the Trump administration itself says the Kremlin — and others — are now trying to mess with the election again.

So let's put you in Vladimir Putin's size 9 shoes as you weigh up Donald Trump vs Joe Biden while refreshing your own personal PyatTridsatVosem (FiveThirtyEight) up there in the Kremlin.

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Less than a week out from Election Day, 66 million Americans have already cast their ballots, and many of those are people who are voting "early" for the first time because of the pandemic. In fact, the early vote total alone this year is already equal to nearly half of all ballots cast in the 2016 general election, suggesting that 2020 turnout could reach historic levels. Most important, however, is how things are playing out in key battleground states where the outcome of the US election will be determined. In Texas, for instance, a huge surge in early voting by Democrats this year has raised the possibility that a state which has been won by Republican candidates since 1976 could now be up for grabs. Here we take a look at early voting in battleground states in 2020 as compared to 2016.

In a national referendum on Sunday, Chileans overwhelmingly voted in favor of a new constitution. But, why are people in this oasis of political stability and steady economic growth in South America willing to undo the bedrock of the system that has allowed Chile to prosper for so long?

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Ian Bremmer discusses the World In (more than) 60 Seconds:

One week before the US election. What do other world leaders want to happen?

Well, I mean, let's face it. Outside the United States, most of the world's leaders would prefer to see the back of Trump. An America first policy was not exactly made for non-Americans. That was not the intended demographic audience. Trump doesn't really care. In fact, to a degree, it's kind of a selling point that a lot of foreign leaders don't want Trump. It's showing that Trump is strong in negotiations and indeed is doing better for the American people.

That's largely BS, but occasionally it's true. I mean, his willingness to use American power to force the Mexican government to actually tighten up on Mexico's Southern border and stop immigration from coming through. AMLO would have much rather that not have happened, but the fact that it did was an America first policy, that rebounded to the benefits of the United States. And there are other examples of that. But generally speaking, it would be better for the US long-term, and for the world, if we had more harmonious, smoother relations with other countries around the world, certainly pretty much all the Europeans would much rather see Trump lose. The United Kingdom is the significant exception given the nature of Brexit, and the fact that Trump has been in favor of that, like being called Mr. Brexit by five or six Brits or however many did.

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