Find Your Pivot Point & Change Becomes Exciting
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It is now 2020 and the start of the year is a great time to make changes that you or your organization desires to make. Some will be small and clear-cut (changing to healthy eating patterns, for instance) while larger changes can be daunting and hard to implement.
Change is frightening and unsettling for most, but it doesn’t have to be. If you pivot instead, your confidence, willingness, and potential for success increase exponentially.
What does it mean to pivot?
To pivot means to change fundamental aspects of what you’re doing but maintaining a common thread between where you are and where you are going. In business, it means changing your product, target audience, or style of execution as explained in this article from Entrepreneur. It highlights five companies who went from relatively unknown and on the brink of failure to household names and massive success by pivoting.
One example is YouTube. It began as a dating site where singles could upload short videos of themselves and search for potential mates. As the popularity of video-streaming escalated, YouTube’s founders saw profit potential by pivoting into the video-streaming empire it is today.
In education, to pivot may mean making significant shifts in how we educate. I’ve written about the need for education to go from cultivating specialists to cultivating “jacks-of-all-trades.” It will take purposeful change to make this happen and “pivots” can be a great way of framing and defining the axis point from which a positive shift can flourish.
How do you know when to pivot?
In an article from Forbes, 14 Famous Business Pivots, contributor Jason Nazar states, “The most critical decision for an entrepreneur is to know when to stay the course vs. change direction.” For the founders of YouTube, the rising popularity of video-streaming led them to pivot from their dating site roots and position themselves to become the multi-billion-dollar empire eventually acquired by Google.
As a pilot, I compare pivoting to charting a plane’s course to its destination and constantly making adjustments in the air as needed. When the environment changes, you change course and may need to land at an alternate airport. The same can be said for pivoting. As information, technology, and trends change, and as our wealth of experiences continue to grow, our plan of action must also change which may lead us to an alternate destination. Where would the music industry be had they not (eventually!) embraced digital downloads and online streaming? Those who did not pivot or waited too long lost market share while new companies that adjusted grew and succeeded.
Recently, I did an interview for John Tesh’s iHeart Media podcast, Intelligence for Your Life. I typically do mainstream radio interviews so a podcast was a bit of a departure. However, this more relaxed and extended opportunity to explore ideas in a conversational manner was very liberating for me.
The theme is, of course, PIVOT. However, we drilled it down in so many directions that it organically produced something that I haven’t thought much about in the past: the importance of finding your “Pivot Point”—the common thread or primary strength and experiences that one has that can be redirected in the most unpredictable of ways. My pivot point has always been my passion, experience and skills in music. I implement them in different ways by combining it with a business mindset and social skills. This “pivot point” has united every project and industry in which I have worked even though to others they may appear very disconnected.
In this interview, I discuss the two scenarios when one should pivot: out of necessity and out of opportunity. You can listen to it here.
How to find your Pivot Point(s)?
It is important to go further to help you pivot. The success of finding one’s pivot point can and must be implemented regardless of whether you are an individual, brand, or industry.
- Individual: Richard Branson has long been one of my role models as we share passion for music, aviation, and philanthropy. His sense of adventure and willingness to take risks is his pivot point which allows for a broad range of opportunities. Even his brand name, “Virgin,” expresses his quest to always be the first to do something.
- Brand: Apple’s pivot point is being cool and trendsetting. From a brand recognition perspective, their usage of the lower-case “i”, for example, is also a pivot point that unites products even though they are sometimes independent of other products (though more often they can “talk” to each other). For example, the iPod, iPhone, iWatch, iTunes, etc.
- Industry: The music industry pivoted from selling durable goods (records, CD’s, cassette tapes, etc.) to consumable goods (streaming, subscription services). The pivot point is the distribution of audio and video content (not necessarily the creation of it, as we see so much independent music now being distributed). It is also not pivoting (or circling) back to physical product such as vinyl records for a more “premium” experience and nostalgic market.
As you brainstorm and plan your 2020 strategy, whether as an individual, brand, or industry, don’t try to change. Instead, find your pivot point and PIVOT.
Please feel free to share your thoughts below and together we will find solutions.
Ravi can help you and your organization pivot and reach the next level
Ravi Unites Schools Update
We have had an overwhelming number of new members join the Ravi Unites Schools network the past quarter. It has come to the point where the model needs to pivot in order to best serve all members and enable more students worldwide to interact. So, we are now looking into corporate sponsorships to help us elevate the platform to become self sufficient with a support team that can manage it.
If you or your organization would like to learn more about becoming a strategic partner of Ravi Unites Schools, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Other News and Announcements
Ravi recently gave a keynote to the Virginia ASCD association at their annual conference. It was very well received, with a large number of school districts inquiring about convocations. Since Ravi is a Virginia resident and he has both a vested interest and smaller travel costs in-state, he is offering steep discounts to Virginia schools. Of course, he will also do what he can for those outside of the state as well because education matters and we must put students first. If you are interested in having Ravi deliver your 2020 school convocation keynote, please send us a message through our contact page, https://raviunties.com/contact
To learn where Ravi will be speaking next or to view current special offers, please visit the lower portion of the website home page here.