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This blog is provided by Marcia Daszko, speaker, author and strategic advisor. It is a companion to her interview on Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future titled Pivot, Disrupt, Transform: How Leaders Beat the Odds and Survive that aired on Tuesday, October 20th, 2020.
Is your job, business, or industry facing new challenges, opportunities, or threats? What do WE do? Great leaders see the needs of customers or society, and they rapidly pivot their direction, disrupt the status quo, and transform to make a difference!
Why do some leaders struggle, flounder, and fail while others see possibilities and opportunities and passionately are inspired to create a new future?
Leaders (at home and at work) transform to make progress with new, different, bold ideas and actions. Leaders see new markets and opportunities to serve and make a difference. That’s transformation: thinking and adding value like never before!
When we face challenges in life and a crisis such as a pandemic, some people quickly discover their natural leadership and internal courage. Others shrink, hunker down, and take no accountability. There are varying degrees of leadership and various places where it shows up.
Some people can jump into action and accelerate their creativity and innovate because they have a great foundation of strategic thinking and can use a Strategic Compass tool. They’ve invested in themselves and their colleagues and have been learning to lead. They quickly gather an action team, create a plan, and launch into action.
Do You Know How to Think Differently and What to DO?
In recent months, we have seen leaders emerging around the world. They step up individually, in organizations, and in nations. They reach across communities, industries, and countries to collaborate, partner, and find rapid solutions.
Leaders see the challenges and what needs to be done to beat the obstacles. What will it take? Leaders Pivot and transform!
Here are key Pivot Points that leaders use:
- BECOME AWARE. Leaders anticipate crises. When it hits, they quickly assess and grasp the situation. They strategically see its probable impact and step up to address it. They sense and respond.
The Question for You: What are you aware of and how will it impact you?
- BELIEVE. Leaders believe that by working together a crisis can be addressed. They have no doubt that they will make progress to serve customers, brand new markets, and society. They don’t waste time. High speed is their modus operandi.
The Questions for You: Do you believe that you can succeed and serve fast enough? Do you believe you can deliver an AMAZING EXPERIENCE OF VALUE THAT IS NEEDED?
IF WE BELIEVE IT, WE CAN ACHIEVE IT.
- CREATE. Creative people are full of ideas in a crisis. Their creativity is contagious as they engage other people to explore and discover new, different, possible solutions. The more creative people are, the easier and more fun their work and solutions flow.
The Questions for You: Are you constantly discussing and exploring new ideas and choosing which ones you will implement? Are you learning and acting fast enough?
- CAN DO. Innovators make their ideas happen. They influence, leverage, and connect with others to achieve their goals.
The Questions for You: Do you rapidly make your Plan (it might take 10 minutes or 2 hours to discuss and agree on a Plan of Action (do not take a week or month to make an Action Plan to address a crisis!) and act on it? What works; what doesn’t? Revise your Plan; do it again. Faster! You’ll can implement the Plan-Do Study-Act (PDSA) Cycle. It’s just one tool to use to make a difference.
Where Do We See Pivots during the COVID19 Outbreak?
Jobs. Thousands of restaurant and salon workers have lost their jobs. It’s uncertain if or when their employers will re-open. Workers who pivot immediately can find companies who are hiring and secure a new position.
Digital Education. Thousands of students, staff, administrators, and faculty pivoted into a digital learning platform. There has been wide variation with its success, and educators and families around the world are continually adapting to meet education needs. In the future, virtual and hybrid learning will continue to be adopted and integrated into the curriculum.
Telemedicine. Healthcare has transformed for thousands of patients who have been able to connect with their doctors via a Zoom platform to be diagnosed for minor illnesses and receive treatment or prescriptions without needing to go into the office. Telemedicine is a transformation that is widely welcomed and when possible, will not go back to the old way of medicine.
Hand sanitizers and ventilators. Small and large breweries and distilleries across the U.S pivoted from making beer, gin and vodka to making hand sanitizers. Auto manufacturers pivoted to produce ventilators as seven ventilator producers increased their productivity on 24-hour shifts.
Mask sterilizers. Three Midwest companies transformed 100’s of toaster ovens into mask sterilizer units that can sterilize 150 masks per hour and donated them to hospitals low on mask inventory.
Virtual events. Consultants, trainers, and speakers shifted to virtual classes, events, and conferences to share significant intellectual property.
There is power in the pivots! Pivots in life are perpetual. If you face a challenge, rise up and pivot. The more you prepare yourself for continual transformation (let go of the status quo), the easier it is to embrace new futures. Wherever there are needs for solutions or there are opportunities to seize, innovators are intrinsically inspired to create new organizations, products or services.
Your power is in your pivot!
To become a more innovative leader, you can begin by taking our free leadership assessments and then enrolling in our online leadership development program.
Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-creating Our Future, via iTunes, Google Play, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify and iHeartRADIO. Stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute LinkedIn.
About the Author
Marcia Daszko has helped leaders at home and at work for 25+ years pivot to save or exponentially grow their organizations to navigate crises or embrace new opportunities. A professional global keynote and workshop leadership speaker, she is a trusted strategic advisor, and facilitator for executive teams. She is the bestselling author of the book “Pivot Disrupt Transform” and co-author of “Turning Ideas Into Impact: Insights from 16 Silicon Valley Consultants.” She has also taught MBA leadership classes at six universities across the U.S. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and access her resources at www.mdaszko.com