Whether we realise it or not, it is more than likely most people have experienced at least one pivot at some point in their lives. Whether it be a change of career, relocating to somewhere else in the world, or changing the direction of a business; pivots are something that are inevitable, but are handled with varying degrees of success. We don’t have to be able to see into the future to know that at some point, something will change that will bring about the need for us to be resilient and adapt; but yet this still does not always mean that we are prepared for a radical new direction.
One of the clearest examples of an event that has been the biggest trigger of business (and life) pivots was the COVID-19 pandemic. The almost overnight shift in consumer and corporate behaviour caused many businesses to rethink their business models to adapt to the ever changing circumstances of the pandemic. Some were very successful. Many were not. A big factor in the varying degrees of success was the resilience of each business, and how ready they were to adapt if an extreme change in direction was required.
This week at the ONE CodeBase Meetup at the One Tech Hub, Duncan Hart, co- founder of DeepMiner, and Audrey Opdycke-Barnes, head of site for CodeBase Edinburgh, discussed the art of pivots and their experiences with pivots in business. Specifically, Duncan shared his experience with DeepMiner’s pandemic pivot, when customer budgets for DeepMiner’s planned projects were cut to make way for providing employees with home-working equipment; while Audrey took us through the skills required for a successful pivot – looking at both the hard business skills and the vital soft skills required. It was fascinating to see how Duncan and DeepMiner successfully met the challenge of the pivot instigated by the pandemic, with the business proving to have the resilience to not just survive, but to continue to grow. Having Audrey provide us with insights into the skills required for a successful pivot was also eye opening, with it proving to be the soft skills of people management that were far more likely to contribute to a successful change in direction than more “traditional” business skills.
The art of the pivot may still be a nuanced skill, but it appears if mastered could provide businesses with the resilience to have continued success in the face of even the harshest of adversity; demonstrated superbly by both Duncan and Audrey.
When assessing a pivot for a business, it is always important to consider if the intellectual property at its heart is in a position to travel in a radical new direction. One key factor in determining this will be having the core IP protected in a resilient and strategic manner; with it being vitally important to get the best guidance on how to do so. The brilliant insights provided at this week’s CodeBase meet up have made it vividly clear that taking some time to assess how adaptable the IP at the heart of your business is to a pivot is certainly a worthwhile venture, and will provide a key component of success in the future.