Igniting Growth – The Evolving Pivot

by: Mike Pascoe

This is the next blog in my Igniting Growth Series where I capture and share some of the thoughts, I’ve gained over my 30 years in CEO/President positions and pass on the knowledge gained from the CEOs I’ve worked with in an advisory capacity. My goal is to provide simple, easy-to-implement insights/ideas to ignite success in your business. This next post focuses on how an evolving pivot can help you move your organization into new business models or markets.

The CEO and his team that refuse to accept “good enough” always impress me. In working with one of these CEOs locally in the Kanata area, the CEO introduced me to an intriguing process they use to introduce new ideas and urgency to their planning. To be clear, this company could operate profitably for many years; but the company’s growth is not what it should be, and they were determined to change it by looking into ways they could evolve their business.

Their first act was an internal survey to capture data from their employees. This fed into an exercise to create multidisciplinary teams to examine in some detail three very separate business directions they could move in. It was at this step that they brought Stratford Managers in for extra support and guidance.

After first challenging and helping them to better define the three business directions, we became active participants in the first set of workshops to help each of the three teams examine their specific direction. Even though we were not experts in their field, we provided a framework for discussion and delivered independent objective pushback that was seen as a key addition to the process.

A second set of workshops were held to help drive a SWOT process. This workshop provided ample inputs into the next phase with the executive where decisions would need to be made and preparations for the BoD meeting (where decisions would be approved, or not) would need to take place.

At Stratford we use the following chart at a high level to help identify what options make sense and which are probably too risky to go in one attempt. So, if you are thinking of more than just the same type of products into the same markets, consider this process to help make the right decision. Note the red area – not usually a good bet in one jump!

Igniting Growth Evolving Pivot Chart

This evolving pivot approach is not a simple redirection or pivot of some resources to more products. It results in a clear decision to evolve the company into a different business model and eventually new markets. This process doesn’t happen over night, but through a deliberate redirection of resources over time. It’s not a full pivot, but over time, the evolving pivot is an effective one.

Up Next on Igniting Growth: Meat & Potatoes.

I’m genuinely interested in your questions and thoughts, so please feel free to comment or contact me, Mike Pascoe, with your insights: Mike.pascoe@stratfordmanagers.com.

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