A colleague of mine recently posted about the use of the term "pivot". It's been popular (some may say, overused) during 2020 and into 2021. Pivot is defined as a noun, adjective and verb. As a noun, "a shaft or pin on which something turns". In the spirit of basketball playoffs starting this week, "a basketball player keeps one foot on the ground as he/she screens or pivots to make a basket." As an adjective, that same basketball player "uses the action of pivoting to execute the play." And as a verb, "to provide with, mount on, or attach by a pivot". Our basketball player "successfully pivots by keeping his/her foot grounded on the floor".
For organizations, finding that pivot to keep doors open and employees working has been a challenge. Creativity, risks, support from customers and shareholders have all been elements of a successful pivot. I was working in the US Virgin Islands when the pandemic started. The local distiller, recognizing the impact of the loss of tourism to the islands and a new need, pivoted to selling hand sanitizer. We saw this pivot across the country. Keeping commerce flowing from our homes instead of commuting to the office or adjusting shifts to reduce the number of employees working at the same time, are also examples of pivots organizations made.
Pivoting requires an element of change. Depending on how resilient and prepared your organization is, another pivot may be looked at with dread. As we move forward to more in-person socializing, working, and activities, many people are feeling unsure, scared and nervous. If you have ever tried to create a new habit, you know that it takes about 30 days. Pivoting back to a more socially engaged society after 14 months of creating new habits that are based on not physically being around people is going to take patience, understanding and a strong communication plan to support this next pivot. Everyone connected to your organization -- managers, shareholders, customers, vendors and employers -- are all in a different space regarding their ability to re-enter life after a pandemic.
An effective tool to overcoming concerns and creating space for inclusion is to conduct listening sessions or small focus groups. These can be done initially be taking an anonymous poll to get a pulse on concerns and questions, and then following up with a live session conducted by a competent facilitator to discuss the poll results and engage everyone in a problem-solving and information sharing session. At the end of the day, leaders are faced with meeting the goals of the organization, which includes getting people back to work. Transparency in organizational goals and options as well as open communication will help employees and managers make informed decisions.
If you have a gap in being able to provide this service, call us. That is why we are here. We will work with you to set up and conduct the poll and sessions. We will work to build trust in the process and provide leadership with constructive feedback that will better inform your next pivot.