Pivot not Failure

Recently a friend had the opportunity of meeting a group of entrepreneurs in their early 20’s – the young millennials. Many of their businesses and business ideas displayed the characteristics of millennials – civic minded, compassionate, technologically adept, politically engaged and well educated.

One idea was about how to help the Syrian refugees in continental Europe – it was still under development so I won’t divulge it here. A business to make money for the founder, value to the relevant public and a socially responsible initiative – a win/win/win.

An interesting concept that they used in the evolution of their ideas into a business and then into subsequent re-incarnations was ‘pivot’. When an idea or aspect of the business didn’t work, they don’t say it failed. Rather they said one must pivot; they take the learning from what didn’t work and change it up to progress the idea forward. It’s not failure, it’s an opportunity to learn and create something that works and will probably be even better than the original.

Because the business and the environment in which it operates changes so quickly they believe they can’t anticipate the future in its entirety. And the VUCA (volatile, uncertainty, complexity, ambiguous) environment necessitates fluidity in offering and execution. Adaptability is key to longevity.

So next time something doesn’t go quite right, pivot towards something better.