For those of us who like stability and that includes most, life has thrown us all a curve ball with the uncertainty of Covid 19 and what the future is going to look like. There are colleges, universities and seminaries on the brink, non-profits trying to figure out how to survive, churches scrambling to understand how to do ministry in this environment and, at the moment, Covid statistics going the wrong way. This is resulting in sometimes massive layoffs and major companies that have been with us for years on the edge of existence.
As one who leads and interacts and consults with other leaders, there is a very common word being used today: Pivot.
A pivot usually occurs when a company make a fundamental change to their business after determining (usually through market research) that their product isn't meeting the needs of their intended market.
In prior times these might happen rarely. Today they are happening sometimes weekly with organizations that are trying to come to terms with today's environment. Those organizations, leaders and staff who are change resistant are often going to find themselves out of a job in this new and challenging time. We are sailing through uncharted waters that will demand the best of our thinking, skill and ability to change quickly (pivot) to new information or strategies.
Those organizations who think things will return to normal and are just waiting for that time are in for a rude awakening. If you work for an organization like that, brush off your resume. You will probably need it.
This is what leaders, staff and organizations need to recognize: Pivots are the new normal. Your mission may not change. The service you provide may not change but the way your do what you do, your methodology and tactics will change. If not, your customers or stakeholders will likely change (and not to your benefit) because the world is uncertain, unstable and changing each day.
Pivots are the new normal. Get used to it, embrace it and figure out what pivots you need to make as an organization. Those staff who cannot respond quickly to pivots need to understand the new reality.
Many staff members are those waiting for the past to return, for what we have known to come back. They need to understand that the world they have occupied will not return unchanged in significant ways. They need to be coached in how to respond quickly to changes in strategy and plans even though they may be change adverse. Unfortunately, those who cannot adjust will find their positions in jeopardy.
If you are a leader, it is just as critical for you to realize that pivots are the new normal. As the Bible says in a different context, the old has gone and the new has come. Don't be caught unaware. Get ahead of the curve and try some bold moves. The status quo is history.