Great brands evolve to sustain success. Now we all have to pivot to save ourselves, our companies and the planet.
A pivot in business usually refers to a key and decisive change in the focus of a company. These are fundamental and the big brands we know and love often undertake many such changes over their lifetime. Search Google and you will find many companies you know for one service – often delivered online – actually started off with a different name and doing something else.
Adapt or die
Clever companies constantly adapt and lead rather than follow. The drivers for a company looking to pivot and change are usually either an issue identified internally that needs addressing, a change in management, or because of an investor or client feedback. It can also be forced on companies when changing sector rules (often after a seismic failure in a system) or a change in legislation has been announced.
A pivot can be needed on a departmental level, such as how a HR team manages its workforce, or helping marketing understand and then use new tools and methods. A Talent Lab pivot conference or workshop is bespoke to each client. Examples of where we have adapted and used our Pivot Model can be found here.
An urgency to pivot
There is no-bigger pivot facing every size, sector and status of company than addressing fundamentally how we all do business in face of the real threat of climate change.
Through our community-led networking production Urbano, Talent Lab organised its first event on sustainability and the environmental impact on businesses especially those in architecture and construction in 2006 (0r Green Build as we called it then).
Since then, we have met and talked to hundreds of different companies and individuals and helped many of them to find sustainable solutions and ‘greener’ alternatives to polluting materials, operations, transport, approaches, etc. It is often easier to examine the things you use, produce and distribute than change working habits, especially when you are not forced to through legislation.
In 2020, COP 26 changed that discussion. Now becoming net zero carbon – whilst still vague and a long way off – is a baseline for many companies looking at priorities for new recruits.
Another by-product of the UN climate change conference in Glasgow was the release of reams of opinion pieces, papers, and action plans, either discussing technical steps that can be used to offset or move away from reliance on fossil fuels under Scopes 1,2 & 3 or how to reduce GHGs (green house gases). It can seem daunting, expensive and time-consuming, but most agree it is necessary.
A strategy to pivot
It can be easy to encourage turning off of lights or replace bulbs, but when companies look ahead, often the technology is not currently available or expensive. There are organisations that can help, but the what, how, who and when is the real process of changing the way we fundamentally work. Hugely profitable companies have the luxury of re-focusing their investment and operations, for most, it will have to a phased pathway to delivering zero-carbon.
Talent Lab has designed a pivot workshop template for companies of all sizes that allows everyone in a company to come together and solve these issues. At its heart, it identifies every proposed action against three criteria – do nothing, do something and do it all. In order to make the right choices – and ones that have the agreement of everyone, from senior management to the shop floor – they are measured against time, cost and zero carbon outcomes. It is the way any action or inaction is measured against these three values that allow HR, recruitment, marketing, communications, operations and the finance department to make the right choices to make your company a sustainable and attractive brand.