The word “pivot” might be the most over-played word in business over the past 60 days. I admit, I’ve used it a lot and now it seems the word has lost its luster due to over use.

To pivot in business – especially in the COVID-19 era – is to make a quick adjustment to a situation and then move quickly in that direction. In basketball terms, I used to coach the pivot as a misdirection move to get the defense “learning” one way to attack a different area. On both cases, the subsequent movement is as important – if not more – than the actual pivot. The reason is because if you spend all your time pivoting; well then you end up going in circles. In both basketball and business, that’s a big “no bueno.”

Since you likely don’t care about basketball, let’s talk business.

The “pivot” means a change of direction; the planting of a foot in the ground and moving elsewhere in the attempt to “score.” The problem is that many business owners will invest time in pivoting; in other words thinking and strategizing over the next moves. The problem is the implementation. If it’s lacking, the effort and ideas are wasted. You need implementation and action to score.

Here are three steps to move from pivot to movement:

Step One: Be sure of your direction. In basketball, the hoop is the objective. What’s your objective? Are you clear? Are your employees clear? And importantly, will your clientele be clear when they see or hear about it. Pivoting to move in a direction that does you no good is just a waste of energy. Make sure you pivot in a clear direction.

Step Two: Be bold in that first step. In basketball, that first step is commitment with purpose. In business, if you are anything but committed, it shows. This is the “all hands on deck” moment. Even if you’re not 100% sure, you must act like it or no one, including your clients and prospects, will believe you.

Step Three: The Drive. That first step is acceleration. Now you go hard to the hoop. In business terms, this is monitoring and accountability. Someone must be in charge of the change of direction. Is it you? As a small business owner, it probably is. Set objectives, metrics, and accountability to make sure the strategies and tactics you invested time in are being done well.

To pivot in business is not only good; it is essential regardless of what the world is like. It demands strategic thinking and planning to set up the pivot. It then requires movement and acceleration to score. Are you ready to drive towards your goal?

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