Small Changes, Big Wins: The Power Of The Pivot

You don’t always need to take disruptive action to create significant change. Sometimes, a small strategic change – or pivot – helps you adapt and flourish. Assess and amplify the effect of making a small change, and you could potentially transforming them into key drivers of growth and relevance in a rapidly changing world.

We know there’s been a lot of external change in the last few years, whether it’s from a global pandemic, AI, supply chain issues, finding the right people, or the high cost of living. We know that in the future, there’s going to be even more uncertainty, change, and disruption.

I know many people are thinking about planning and change and strategy for the year ahead. In my role as a futurist, I often talk to leaders and their teams about whether they should “disrupt themselves”. I say,

“Disrupt yourself before a competitor or something else does it to you!”

This is definitely good advice for some organisations. But not for everybody. The challenge with disrupting yourself is that big change takes a lot of work, resources, and even a change in mindset.

And the good news is, you don’t always have to go that far.

The opposite of disrupting yourself is to make a small change – a pivot. Sometimes a small change done well and intentionally can create huge opportunities.

Let me give you an example …

Just over a hundred years ago, William Wrigley ran a business selling baking powder. Whenever he sent out a customer order, he included a couple of packets of chewing gum, as a thank-you gift. He discovered to his surprise that the customers were looking forward to the chewing gum more than the baking powder! So, he decided to focus more on the chewing gum. And eventually, that became his main product. And that’s where Wrigley’s chewing gum comes from.

This is an example of a “side pivot”. You consider some accessory, freebie, or low-cost thing that you include with your main product or service. It doesn’t seem to have much value to you, but you might find your customers like it. If they like it enough, you amplify or elevate that product, so it takes on more importance and relevance.

It doesn’t mean that it will become the main product in your business, but you pivot to amplify and elevate its importance.

This is just one of the seven ways you can pivot to find new opportunities. Download my worksheet about the power of the pivot for more.

Use this with your planning for 2024.


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