business changesBusiness changes have been necessary for survival for many, in recent years, due to the economy and other factors!

There can be great fear for business owners when making important, sometimes life-altering decisions for their business. We’re living in a fast-paced, rapidly changing world, where pivoting in business is critical, in order to stay competitive and grow.

Trying Something New for Your Business

As the owner, president or manager, you have no doubt heard every complaint known to man, during these times. Your employees, friends, even family say things like:  “Oh no, here we go again; he/she must have gone to another positive thinking seminar!”  Or, “Remember what happened to their last idea?”  Or, “Great, MORE business changes! It will probably be another flop, a washout! Can’t wait to hear another Rah-Rah speech about how great everything will be when it’s implemented.”  My favorite is,  “If I know him/her, it’s going to be tedious and take a lot of time.” Hmm!

As business leaders, we’ve all heard certain criticism when adding or changing products, method of sales, new features, and/or business processes, etc.  Maybe this sounds too familiar: “It was our original idea, our core product, the-way-we-use-to-do-it, that got us where we are!  So, why on earth are we changing, adding, tinkering, fiddling and messing with this new ‘wild hair’? Many of these newfangled ideas haven’t worked out the way the boss said they would.”

My answer is… you see these “newfangled” ideas, changes, and pivots in the products we use every day!   Take Smart phones, for example. You may never use most of the features, and you may think the change just didn’t add anything to the product. However,  some features have been altered for the better, and now everyone is singing its praises.

Business Changes | The Needed Pivot

So, what is the “Phantom of the Pivot?” It’s that dark voice that can’t wait to tell us, “That’ll never work; you tried that before!” And, “Remember, you lost your butt the last time you had a new idea!”

But, if you listen closely to the voice of the “Phantom,” there may be some hidden encouragement as you Pivot. “OK, it’s working a little, but it has yet to show a profit!” Or, “Yeah, it’s nice to have that new piece of equipment, but I still don’t see a big difference in the company!”

Those voices, albeit hypocritical, may be all the credit you’ll ever receive from those “Phantoms,” when pivots DO go the right way:

  • “Well I guess that works, but I like the old way better!”
  • “Well, yeah, it’s working, but it sure was hard to implement; if it was my company I just wouldn’t have done it!”
  • “Alright, it’s good, but you know me, I still don’t like change!”

Notice how many BUT’s there are in some people’s thinking!  No, many don’t like change or pivoting, even when they see something is working for the better, and it becomes successful.

Successful Owners Do Not Fear Business Changes

Successful companies remain relevant because they are not afraid of the “Phantom of the Pivot.” Naysayers tend to cost businesses more, when they’re not willing to challenge themselves to continually improve.

I’ve learned some great lessons from having three business careers, and years of watching the “Phantom” in action. With almost every pivot I’ve made in business, the change paid a dividend.

Yes, as leaders we need to listen to wise counsel and often make rash business decisions. AND we must count the cost. But, FEAR will hinder any business from moving forward.

The truth about those discouraging “Phantoms” out there is, many (given the opportunity to work for a cutting-edge, on-the-way-up company) would leave a stagnant, non-forward-thinking company in a ghostly second!  Unfortunately, they would take their surreal world with them.

So, what does “Phantom of the Pivot” have to do with systemizing your business?

Consider.  It’s a noble thing to continually improve. Positive business changes help you achieve relevance in the marketplace, so you don’t lose your piece of the pie, and your business grows. Conversely, if you implement even a great “pivot” in a haphazard fashion, it is likely to fail. Those Phantom voices will only grow louder and the culture of your company will grow darker.

The first pivot for a business should be to implement written processes in every facet of the organization. Consequently, this will ensure all “work,” and all “newfangled ideas” are systematically implemented. It will also dampen down the negative Phantom and ensure success.

[One system we implemented years ago was to take articles that help us with our pivots, from blogs and trade magazines, and scan or link them to our System100 so everyone can have access. This blog idea came from an article I read in Website Magazine called “Don’t Fear the Pivot.” Just wanted to give credit for the idea to those who work hard getting good material to those of us who need it]