What’s your ability to pivot?
Stay the course or change direction?
A pivot usually occurs when a company makes a fundamental change to their business. This happens after determining (usually through market research) that their product isn’t meeting the needs of their intended market.
In the current situation, the choice to pivot has been taken out of our hands. Most businesses are now having to implement a pivot, be it partially or entirely. This will mean having conversations with clients and customers to ask which services, products and tools currently feel most valuable and meaningful for them.
A ‘pivot’ in its simplest definition is a change of direction, a change in strategy or business model, a switch of focus. Pivoting or adapting will enable you to grow or avoid decline.
In order to pivot, you need to be able to:change short term responses, be flexible with ideas, be relevant and INNOVATE. You must plan for the long term (impacts that last a lifetime) and be part of driving future change. It is a time to look at the most critical, and emerging trends, growth segments and opportunities. Be an enabler of resourcefulness and help others adapt and adopt new habits.
Brands that take leadership will be noticed and valued as a new normal is gradually forming. It’s not what you say it’s what you do, encourage and excite, inspire and incentivise.
To improve is to change; to be perfect is to change often”– Winston Churchill
Here’s 3 examples of companies that pivoted to global success to draw inspiration from:
The most legendary pivot in social media history is the transformation of Odeo into Twitter. Odeo began as a network where people could find and subscribe to podcasts. However, the founders feared the company’s demise when iTunes began taking over the podcast niche. After giving the employees two weeks to come up with new ideas, the company decided to make a drastic change and run with the idea of a status-updating micro-blogging platform conceived by Jack Dorsey and Biz Stone
PayPal has always focused on payments, but it has gone through many permutations. It was developed by a company called Confinity in 1999 to allow people to “beam” payments from their PDAs (handheld digital computers, such as the Palm Pilot, an early incarnation of the smartphone). After merging with a financial services company called X.com, PayPal became the preferred online payment system for eBay sellers, which propelled its name into payment processing fame.
In 2007 Andrew Mason created a website called The Point, which was a “social good” fundraising site that ran on a “tipping point” system, where a cause would only receive funding once the pledged donations reached a certain number. Mason started Groupon as a side project, which applied a similar “tipping point” concept to local deals: if enough people pledged to do an activity, they would unlock a discount on it. The Groupon project quickly eclipsed The Point in popularity and became the daily deal tycoon we know today.
So stay the course or change direction?
We can deduce that pivoting can create opportunities, expand revenue and reinvigorate your business whilst ensuring it stays relevant. Some of the best ideas and realisations come from trying new things but we know these choices aren’t always easy, change rarely is.
Leon C. Megginson
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.”