Every business needs to pivot at some point: How to quantify your odds of success

October 20, 2021

In challenging times, decisions become even more critical to a company’s practices, disciplines, approaches, and ultimate success. How does a company choose the right strategies and implementation to ensure they not only weather the crisis but come out ahead?

Perhaps you can relate to one of these scenarios...?

  • Your market is clearly changing and you know your company needs an urgent retargeting.

How do you get the rest of your partners/leadership team on board to take action before it’s too late?

  • The current sociopolitical climate is changing so fast you feel like you’re not keeping up.

How can you be more decisive, rally the troops, and implement pivotal strategies to keep your company resilient?

  • Your team is promoting extreme measures to survive, and you believe a more measured, balanced approach will take you to the other side of this crisis.

How do you figure out who’s right?

True story: Once upon a time (i.e., early 2000s), Yahoo was the titan of online search. In 2002, they almost bought Google for 5 billion dollars; in 2006, Facebook for 1 billion. They decided against spending that kind of money on Google, and wanted to lower the price on Facebook causing Mark Zuckerberg to back out.

Resting on their laurels as the #1 search engine and advertiser, Yahoo chose instead to focus on becoming an online portal. They outsourced their search capabilities to Microsoft Bing.  You probably don’t need to look any further than your own browser to know how that success story panned out. Current estimations of Yahoo’s overall value hovers around 32 billion, Facebook 1.2 trillion, and Google 1.6 trillion.

So, what happened? Ultimately, decisions weren’t made even as bigger and better ships rose around them. And while it’s easy enough to armchair quarterback bad business moves, the fact is that both retargeting and sustained growth success require remarkably similar disciplines and practices, common across all industries.

Let’s face it: Change will happen, and often outside of our control. What does it take to leverage those changes into opportunities?

Success is prediction...

In partnership with Michael Eckhardt of the Chasm Institute, I’ve developed the Profitable Growth Index a tool to score and prioritize a company’s strategic options to pivot strategically, stay resilient, and sustain growth.

We identify sixteen actions necessary to drive profitable growth.  Here are the top eight:

  1. Target a specific “market use case” (key segment) that is both urgent and painful for customers.
  2. Be decisive about who you are not going to serve.
  3. Avoid the “Strategy-of-the-Month” disease.
  4. The right target segment is not enough – commit to a 100% MVWP (Minimum Viable Whole Product).
  5. If you need to cut costs, use a scalpel not a cleaver to preserve key capabilities.
  6. Act decisively.
  7. Quickly define what you need to know to make big decisions.
  8. Be crystal clear about what it will take to deliver the MVWP.

...and Execution.

What are the tools you’ll need to successfully successfully execute a pivot and sustain your growth? Here are a few tips to approach implementation in a reasoned and sustainable way:

  • Define how you’re going to measure success—and track it!
  • Make sure everyone is clear on the key actions and steps needed to implement the plan.
  • Set timelines that feel a little tight; a sense of urgency keeps everyone focused.
  • Identify the things that can derail your efforts and monitor them.
  • Makes sure key stakeholders know what’s going on and why; and keep them posted on progress.

Is your organization ready for the next big crisis or opportunity?

What you can expect...
​- Help to prioritize what you need, when you need it, and a game plan to accelerate EBITDA growth.

- Access to an extensive talent network to fill key expertise gaps and bring you the right resources to implement your growth goals.

- Discipline and timeline clarity to execute the initiatives that will move your growth agenda forward quickly and efficiently.

- Confidence that you'll achieve the results you want over the next 12 - 18 months.

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