By Amanda Lee, Executive Consultant
Regardless of our profession or industry, location, family, or any other circumstance, we have all been forced to pivot in some pretty spectacular ways recently. Pivots are always a little more exciting and easier to embrace when we choose them ourselves, but regardless of how they come about, there is always power in a pivot.
Given my passion for finance and HR, my favorite pivots are in Microsoft Excel and take the form of Pivot Tables, which beautifully demonstrate the power of all pivots – data. Data helps us to understand and improve. Each time we pivot, if we take the time to review and assess the new data available to us, we will learn and grow.
As millions of students pivoted to remote learning in 2020, many struggled. Over time, however, others thrived under new learning models. For example, shy or anxious students who would never ask a question during in-person learning and would sometimes fall behind are very comfortable privately messaging a teacher in a digital chat and are better able to keep up with the material. Studying the data surrounding the educational pivots of the past year is leading educators to consider how they can carry the "wins" from remote learning such as this one back to the physical classroom to better meet all students' needs.
In this instance, pivoting due to COVID-19 is leading to additional pivoting to improve education. Similarly in the business world, one pivot can lead to another that is either complimentary or corrects what happened in a previous pivot.
Recently I was asked to help a small manufacturing company grasp its financial situation. Leadership hadn’t received a financial statement in more than six months. A former investor had convinced them to invest in a costly financial system that was significantly more advanced than warranted by their operations and beyond their capabilities to manage. Upon review, the pivot that led to this nearly $150,000 system was deemed a mistake.
Findings from a qualitative analysis assessing what was working well – and not as well – guided our search for a replacement system. We were able to quickly pivot for a second time, guided by our learnings. Five years later, the new financial system continues to serve the organization and its leadership well.
We're pivoting all the time, whether we choose to pivot or merely need to endure them. When we view them as opportunities and take hold of the power of our pivots, we gain knowledge and understanding to help us learn and grow.
What was the power of your latest pivot?
Amanda Lee is an HR and operations executive consultant with Platinum Group. She has nearly 20 years of experience in helping organizations run more smoothly and financially sound, as well as taking care of their employees. She has been responsible for HR, finance, accounting, and data analysis, and also for reporting, IT, and retail operations of the largest multi-site church in the five-state area. She can be reached at Amanda.Lee@ThePlatinumGrp.com or 651-295-1651.