A couple of days ago Jeremiah Owyang asked on FriendFeed if the economic turmoil would be good for Social Media. I and many others commented that there are many opportunities, any form of crises makes people more creative and innovative.
I'm responsible for product related research and innovation and was very interested in the PC World article: 'Are You an Innovation Sucker or Winner?'. It discusses the consequences financial turmoil on innovation. Businesses need to tighten their belts and return to their business fundamentals beginning with delivering a great value proposition. This is especially important in challenging times, because customers need to validate their investments. Innovation is required to deliver a differentiating value preposition.
In my experience the creativity is always there, but innovation is often considered risky what slows down the progress. In times of need, these risks are often valued differently, opening doors for making progress and launching innovative products and solutions. For a long time I'm an internal promotor for Social Media, but only in the past 2 days I got several questions about help with implementation!