Tag: Pivot

Know When to Pivot Your Strategy



Launching an ambitious endeavor requires enormous support. But sometimes innovators realize they’ve made a mistake, or the situation has changed somehow…giving rise to something new being needed. In such moments, they need to pivot. Roald Amundsen had worked too hard. He thought of all the effort that went into attracting funding and recruiting the crew he needed. There was no way he was going to give up.

It’s important to keep the big picture in mind and avoid holding onto specific solutions that leave narrow wiggle room to maneuver. The decisions you make will have a direct impact on your ability to endure. It’s not about making a 180-degree change. It’s about revisiting what you’re doing and broadening your view. Ask yourself, “What is the larger aim?”

The explorer Roald Amundsen recognized that the main ambition was about pioneering achievement…accomplishing something that hadn’t been done before. It was not about it taking a specific route. Upon hearing that other explorers had beaten him to the North Pole, he made a bold move. He changed course, proclaiming that the mission from the start was about scientific discovery. He stayed true to his aim and went on to become a national hero as the first person ever to reach the South Pole.

Roald Amundsen and his crew raise the flag of Norway at the South Pole.
On December 14, 1911, Roald Amundsen and his crew raised the Norway flag as the first explorers to reach the South Pole.

Changing course is sometimes a necessity. For business, it can mean all the difference between success and failure. The path to success is rarely a straight line. Consider some of the most dramatic pivots in business history.

William Wrigley dropped his soap and baking powder product lines when he realized gum, which he was giving away as a kind of incentive to remember the brand, was more popular. Odeo began as a network where people could find and subscribe to podcasts, but then iTunes began taking over the podcast market. The company decided to run with the idea of a status-updating micro-blogging platform. That company became Twitter. Yelp began as an automated email service, and YouTube started as a dating service.

Research shows that new ventures that reinvent their businesses increase their probability of success. Perhaps the active ingredient to this kind of progress has much to do with learning more about their customer’s preferences, business partners, and a new-found openness to adopt new technologies.

Developing the ability to justify shifts away from specific objectives to ones that more effectively address the current situation is an important blend of skills.  Many businesses that were on a growth trajectory before the pandemic, but are now experiencing loss, are considering new business models and strategies. They have to.

To the extent companies can adapt with agility, they will continue to endure as 2021 unfolds. Those that have adopted digital processes by then will be most nimble and less likely to be stuck on a course they can’t change so easily.


Are you considering a direction change or a strategy re-orientation? We’re interested in learning more about how you are coping with the shifting landscape. Please give us a call at 888-753-5060. Or learn more from our extensive library of blogs and information by clicking below.