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Pivot or double down

I hear the word “pivot” a lot lately. It seems like everyone is pivoting or they think they should consider pivoting. It seems like it’s the new business buzz word during this pandemic, but I’m not sure I completely understand what it is meant to describe.

If I look at the current market and say to myself, “I’m going to stay true to my business model which is delivering highly customized, strategic support, to businesses and not for profits, in a highly collaborative client centric process, but I will now utilize Zoom more frequently to connect with my clients”, does this mean I’m pivoting? Not sure about that.

I have a client in retail, and her business is doing much better that expected during this last couple of months. She is providing the same great quality products, with all the high level of customer support and product knowledge she provided before the pandemic hit, but in the last couple of months, she had to increase her ability to deliver this via online order and delivery methods. Did she pivot? Maybe.

I work with a not for profit organization that provides critical support services for vulnerable segments of the local population. They faced many, many challenges in an effort to adapt how they were going to deliver the programs so desperately needed in the community. In the end, they refocussed and prioritized the most important and most broadly reaching programs, introduced some technology to the delivery model and strengthened their efforts so they could sustain the valuable work over the long run. It doesn’t sound like a pivot, does it?

I think the phrase that best captures the essence of these examples is “double down”.

Double down on your value proposition. Double down on your organizations mission.

Sure, we may need to introduce some technology that will help with delivery our value, and we likely need to adapt some of our practices in terms of the mechanics in how we do things, such as moving some aspects online or holding virtual meetings, but we need to be careful that we don’t “pivot” to a place where we no longer can provide the value that our clients expect.

In this environment we should be reconnecting with our organizational purpose and instead of pivoting, we should double down.

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