Lean Leadership Thinking and The Art of the Pivot


Why Use The Art of the Pivot for your Business?


In business thinking, one might wonder why big corporate enterprises such as General Motors, Borders, Kodak and Blockbuster have gone bankrupt while in the same timeline, upstarts such as Tesla, Amazon, Instagram and Netflix have all rocketed to the moon and across the stratosphere. Research shows the average life span of a company on the S&P 500 dropped from 60 years down to less than 20. The bell curve has shifted to the shark fin, in large part because of the emergence of platform theory in the digital world that has leveled the playing field to bridge the gaps between planning and execution.


Today, it's all about making fast, deliberate change using agile platforms with decision-making at mach speed. Essentially, it's the difference between becoming a competitive advantage or achieving your strategic advantage. One follows the market trends set by others while the latter establishes the trends others follow in the market. Unpacking the latter is critical to remain relevant in the digital age and requires learning The Art of the Pivot to reinvent modern business thinking to achieve "execution excellence."


If you look at The Art of the Pivot, a key construct in the Lean Leadership model using Go Slow to Go Fast strategy concepts, it does not provide a one-time improvement in cash flow and bottom-line savings. Instead, it offers throughput (new revenue and growth from emerging cycles and markets) to an organization's leverage points.


The Art of the Pivot looks at providing real-time improvements to the organization's Centers of Gravity (CoGs), the "leverage points known as the Five Rings," to define and move the constraints into improvement resources to sustain themselves. In doing so, you must focus enough of the resources on the constraint until you improve the constraint by creating new revenues minus total variable cost. That's such aspects as raw resources and materials, talent and sales commissions, and all of the things that vary with the sale of a product, service or thing.


The bottom line here is that The Art of the Pivot is Leadership Code Switching, all in one action—the ability to modify behavior in response to rapidly changing environments using past experiences to manage psychological (limiting) challenges when moving toward the Future Picture. They enhance one another to provide faster bottom line effort with transforming organizational behaviors and decisions to develop less effort and greater impact on the constraining Center of Gravity (specific leverage points to include—Leadership (decision-makers), Processes (strategies and tactics), Infrastructure (organizations and emerging markets), Populations (people) and Action Units (customers and vendors). Without The Art of the Pivot, organizations will fail at doing the right thing to get the right things done. And this is known as managing the probable that will always derail leading the possible.


The more critical thing to consider and know about The Art of the Pivot is knowing where to drive "execution excellence" using low risk experiments. This means knowing instinctively when and where to move that gives the greatest probability of guaranteed success. The philosophy and objective is to help shape leadership and management decisions rather than make them. This approach, I believe, builds responsibility and accountability that makes for better practices over time.


The most successful leaders I know think this way using an applied formula of quick, methodical and disciplined maneuvers to achieve a guaranteed outcome with a vision they can pursue with uncompromising pragmatism. The Art of the Pivot is impediment busting at it best that all leaders must learn to remain relevant while operating in the 21st Century and beyond.


To learn more about The Art of the Pivot and how to apply it, preorder your copy of Go Slow to Go Fast: Planning to Execution by Friday, 29 May 2015. Along with your preorder, you'll receive a seat in the "Art of the Pivot" Transformation Summit on Thursday, 4 June 2015 (valued at $799).


After your order is completed, simply send me an email at dpitts@damianpitts.com confirming your order. Your receipt is your admittance into the 4-hour transformation summit on The Art of the Pivot.


I look forward to seeing at the summit.


Damian D. "Skipper" Pitts


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