Having the ability to change strategies quickly and confidently is critical to sidestepping disaster. Travel advisors have demonstrated why being prepared to pivot is essential for any business’s survival and evolution. In 1999, Newsday published a report predicting agents would soon face extinction. Twenty years later, there are an estimated 100,000-plus U.S. travel professionals.
No. 11 in @BizPrivy’s 12 Keys to Success is the art of pivoting.
The Inevitability of Change
Over time, technologies advance, markets continually transform and savvy travel advisors understand change is not just necessary but inevitable. In a 2014 article in Entrepreneur magazine, Avishai Abrahami, co-founder and CEO of the website-building service Wix, defined pivoting as “the art of recognizing that the pursuit of a specific idea, direction or product—in which you’ve invested significant time, money and energy—is no longer the correct path to follow.”
Changing direction is difficult, as most people fear change. It’s easy to become attached to an idea and feel passionate about staying the course. However, mastering the art of pivoting means knowing when to make a change in strategy without sacrificing vision.
Pivots Large and Small
In effect, pivoting is a way to reroute to your original destination. Sometimes pivoting can be a small, gradual shift in plans and other times it may mean making earth-shattering transformations.
For travel advisors 20 years ago, the pivot included transforming processes, adjusting marketing techniques and switching to new travel technologies. For a business to successfully pivot, the shift in direction must solve a current business problem by using newly developed processes. The adjustment should not distort your business identity. Rather, it should be propelled by your clients’ needs.
Staying the Course
Pivoting wisely is characterized as adapting to the new without abandoning the core essence of the business. As the late motivational speaker Zig Ziglar said, “When obstacles arise, you change your direction to reach your goal; you do not change your decision to get there.”
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