Question :
In terms of looking at Pivot options – are there any best practice frameworks/formulas/questions to ask  that small business could look at to help accelerate the development of a pivot strategy?

Question submitted 20/04/20 @ 11:07am
Industry: Business Growth
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    If you have not already, I would suggest you read ” The Lean Startup” by Eris Ries.
    This provides a useful framework for startup issues. And might give you ideas and confidence


    Great recommendation @graeme-bulling.

    Steven my personal view is the action is key at this time….by all means think of process and decision making frameworks…in parallel do a virtual workshop with your key stakeholders (team members, accountant, customers, suppliers, smart people you know – whoever makes sense) and work through;
    – what are we really go at. not just the thing we already think we do but what the are the processes, thinking and areas of excellence that sit behind that
    – what are all the other places those skills could be applied

    Run this as a post it note exercise, no wrong answers, throw it all out there. Then work the answers into clusters of themes as a group. Discuss those clusters. Have you gotten to the heart of them, are there others way to express them.

    Then take those clusters and ask – where else could they live – again answers on a post it, silence while everyone works through ideas. Share all the answers and work your way through them methodically. You might end up with;
    – some ideas you love – but hard to make work
    – some ideas you love – but others are doing them already. Can you do them different/better? Is there a new way of thinking about them in the new normal
    – some ideas you don’t love but have legs – how can you fall in love with them (think of it as an arranged marriage :))
    – etc
    Don’t dismiss anything out of hand without a whole lot of desk research.
    Consider using a tool like de Bono’s 6 hats to guide the thinking -when do we need facts, when do we need to all look at this positively, when do we all need to look a this critically, etc


    Get to it and good luck! Vicky


    The ideas above are an excellent round up of new considerations so I’ll come at this from another angle.

    The thoughts below are a couple of practical tools to help you and your team collaborate, generate ideas and push the business to consider new ways to drive the business forward.

    Firstly, have a crack at an empathy map for each segment of your customer base. ( https://miro.com/templates/empathy-map/ )

    An empathy map gives you the head space to really consider what your customers are thinking, feeling, hearing, saying and doing at this time. As much as this will be an assumed exercise, i.e you’ll not have conducted qualitative research, it might provide you with a different perspective, territories to explore and raise some key questions.

    Cluster these questions into a series of how might we (HMW) statements. We call these statement starters. e.g HMW offer businesses that are ‘thrivers’ at this time with ‘insert aspects of your offer here’? (See Andy’s LinkedIn article describing the thriver segment – https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/covid-19-response-some-thoughts-how-business-economy-can-hamilton )

    I recently helped Snap Rentals pivot to Snap Delivery; a same day, personal shopper, grocery delivery service starting with Farro but expanding nationwide. They’re classic ‘thrivers’.

    Consider these types of businesses and target them with fresh thinking.

    That’s just one HMW. Come up with 5-6 per customer segment. Once you’ve created your HMW statements get your team together on a call and using collaboration tools such as Miro come up with as many ideas as you can for each HMW. As a rule articulate your idea as a single sentence. Run these as 5-10 minute sessions with your team. You could use Google Sheets which we’ve found can work just as well as Miro for live ideation.

    After each session you’ll have generated a significant volume of ideas. Now refine them.

    As a group discuss the ideas and vote on the top 3 per segment you’d like to take forward.

    These are a couple of very simple tools to help you to think differently and may help you to our up some ideas that assist in your pivot.

    Once you’ve got your refined list of ideas you can explore ways to bring them to life with your team, generate simple storyboards or prototypes of your ideas and test them with customers in your current segments and perhaps some new segments you’ve identified. See what gets a nibble and iterate your thinking until you hit on an idea(s) that has the desired outcome.

    All the very best of luck.


    Here is the best quick read I like on pivot strategy https://www.svb.com/blogs/silicon-valley-bank/breaking-down-startup-pivot-strategy


    Great reply @Russell-douglas hadn’t see Miro – will check it out


    I like all of the suggestions from the group, my addition would be to look at the Business Model Canvas. It’s a simple and quick method of assessing a business, whilst considering its requisite aspects – customers, suppliers, USP’s etc.

    I’ve used this to flesh out multiple ideas from idea kernel to high level business opportunity overview. It provides a go/no-go view quickly, whilst facilitating the brainstorming exercise well.

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