Pivot to Nowhere

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Did someone write a book or something? Are the business schools preaching again? Is this another Crossing the Chasm or Peter Principle? (I know I just showed my age) When did the word PIVOT enter business strategy lexicon so predominately? And why has this become the new answer to bad strategy?

Two things that I am hearing more and more in presentations and strategy discussions: the words “pivot” and “we then go viral”. As a consequence, strategy is more defined by constant change in the face of resistance or failed first moves. Pivoting around an idea to tweak the value is obviously good business. But simply saying that in the face of challenges the company (or department) will pivot seems lazy. How can an objective observer place faith in such a random direction? And how can investors with a less-than-Vegas-mentality in investor risk evaluate a business plan that says the company will “go viral”? We all know this is possible and we all know that it is highly unlikely to happen without concerted, measured effort. Business strategy is the summation of concerted steps and milestone events. I want to reach over and smack people who think I am old fashion because I want to work at making companies successful. I predict that this new business environment will look very much like the .com boom: lots of forgotten quick and easy ideas. Oh, and I recently severely restricted my Facebook access permissions to begin my exit strategy.

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