Pivoting - buzzword or business lifejacket?
Survival of the fittest has become survival of the most flexible
If you Googled “pivot” in 2019, you’d find the definition of the world and references to the American TV show Friends. Google it in 2020 and your search results are dramatically different. While terms like “lean management” and “agility” have taken pride of place in the corporate world over the past few years, “pivoting” is the star of the show in 2020. So what does it mean?
Let’s quickly jump back to Friends. Two characters on the show were challenged with moving a sofa up a narrow staircase. Pivoting is what helped get the sofa to where it was going. A slight shift in angle is all it took.
We all do it. Whether it’s making tweaks to our calendar to squeeze in a quick meeting or moving things around to make space for a jar in the food cupboard. Necessity is the mother of invention and this has very much been in play in 2020. From Louis Vuitton pivoting to make hand sanitizer during the pandemic to your local restaurant switching to delivery-only.
Pivoting is one of the top buzzwords to be used in 2020. While it can be perceived as a drastic measure during a drastic time, it could also be viewed as a way to turn a situation on its head. Launched a start up only to realise your industry is saturated? Investigate a gap in the market and fill it. Identify consumer pain points and try to remedy them with creative solutions. It is definitely easier said than done but it’s a much-needed lifejacket when the economy and marketplace are in the midst of a tumultuous storm.
Our communications agency, SOCIATE, had to do a fair bit of pivoting to stay afloat during the pandemic. With clients having reduced budgets but the same business needs, we adapted to the “new normal” (another buzzword, sorry) by launching a scaled-back version of our services. We also hosted a virtual lemonade stand with discounted summer packages to cope with the annual slump in business during the season. As a result, we have managed to keep our doors open and retain all our team members with no redundancies.
Human existence has always been survival of the fittest and this translates into survival of the most flexible in the world of business. From the countless personality traits and skills a business leader requires, adopting a resilient mindset continues to be key. Pivoting can also apply to employees as businesses become increasingly more freestyle, especially SMEs. Taking an interest in lifelong learning and enriching your skill set can make you a vital asset to a company and add a competitive edge to your experience.
Embracing a flexible approach will not just benefit you in the workplace but in life too. From “hacking” time management to continually experimenting and optimising, going back to the drawing board to see how and where you can improve could make all the difference for you and your company.