What’s a Pivot and What Comes First?

April 7th, 2020

More than ever we are hearing the word pivot. Do you know what it is to pivot your business? Did you know that there are lots of forms of pivoting? I joined a workshop with Steve Dalton last week and he introduced the different types of pivots that businesses use, as defined by Eric Ries. Eric explains that a pivot is a change in strategy without a change in vision. I’m not sure everyone I hear talking about pivoting their business understands this. Covid-19 has presented a challenge and an opportunity for us to deliver our vision and serve our clients in a new way. It doesn’t require us to compromise that vision.

Eric Ries, in The Lean Start-Up, talks about 10 ways to pivot your start up, these are:

(1) Zoom-in pivot. Where a single feature in your product becomes the whole product. Its focus, focus, focus.

(2) Zoom-out pivot. When you realise that your whole product is a feature or simply part of the necessary solution.

(3) Customer segment pivot. When the customer base you are serving is more niche than your original vision.

(4) Customer need pivot. When customer feedback informs you that what you are providing isn’t the value you perceived it was to them and you change your offer.

(5) Platform pivot. When your single solution or application becomes a platform from which you can deliver more value and products, including to different markets/sectors.

(6) Business architecture pivot. There are two major business architectures: high margin, low volume (complex systems model), or low margin, high volume (volume operations model). You can’t do both at the same time.

(7) Value capture pivot. This is a change in your revenue model as changes to how you capture value and for whom will create opportunity across your business.

(8) Engine of growth pivot. Traditionally there are growth engines: viral, sticky, and paid growth models. How you choose to grow your business will change often change the pace of growth.

(9) Channel pivot. The way your company delivers its product to customers is your sales or distribution channel. Channel pivots can require changes in pricing and features.

(10) Technology pivot. This is where you realise that you can deliver the same or superior outcome by using new technology.

Therefore, instead of perhaps thinking that Covid-19 is all about taking our face to face interactions online, consider other ways to adapt/pivot your business.

Most importantly however, any change in your business ALWAYS STARTS with learning and feedback. Whether measuring your impact or jumping into your customers’ shoes, take time to consider what ‘jobs’ they are now doing, these may be different from pre-Covid. Get familiar with the pains they are now experiencing and what they would gain from having their new ‘jobs’ done effectively. I am running some online workshops looking at this over the coming weeks, message me for dates and details.

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