Pivot, not U-turn

One of the best pieces of business advice I was ever given was around having a clear vision of what it is you are trying to achieve. 

It sounds simple and makes perfect sense. And that is, of course, what anyone starting a business does; they want to bring that big idea to life and reap its fiscal rewards.

So why is it that even though we know it’s going to be a tough old slog, at the first bump in the road we abandon rule number one like it never existed and do a massive panic-stricken U-turn which often results in failure?

The solution is very simple. Within the business vision phase when that big idea is being formed, factor in the flexibility to perform various pivots along the journey.

Pivots are controlled responses to the ever-changing environments of business. Change is a constant and the current Covid-19 pandemic is a great, albeit severe, example of this, so providing safety measures such as social distancing is a pivot to allow you to achieve the vision.

Change is a constant and the current Covid-19 pandemic is a great, albeit severe, example of this

Among the most impressive business pivots was that of entrepreneur Stewart Butterfield. His company initially developed a game called Glitch, but soon realised that while the concept wasn’t viable, the internal communications platform they had developed to communicate between offices had real potential. That technology became Slack, which now has more than 10 million daily active users and the company is now worth over $20bn.

So, remember to pivot, not U-turn. After all, if you put a postcode into your sat nav and hit a road closure along the way you wouldn’t just do a U-turn and go home.

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