As free free-lance Warhorse adviser and friend, college professor, former English teacher like me, and Human Rainforest forester Henry Doss recently wrote in his weekly Forbes innovation contribution, "Choices Weaken The Ability To Pivot." It seems Henry is often writing for Warhorse-- this time, it's a timely reminder that we don't have to see our business choices are either/or, but a path or course that can and will change. Recently, I had become complacent: it was going to be a clear path to growing a successful business. I thought Warhorse was like Red Riding Hood, skipping along to grandma's house with a basket of Warhorse goodies and a definite ETA, arriving first class. Easy as pie.
Business and linearity rarely run parallel for long. A little chaos is the order of the day. What? Why did I forget that Things Fall Apart. But that's ok too, because Warhorse is pivoting.
Can a horse, a Warhorse learn to pivot? Sure we can. In fact, just like in basketball, a pivot can open up a new view, a new path, a new advantage--all with a shift, while still holding on to our center and core. One foot stays still, while the other swings. Turning on a dime, some call it. Maybe the most important thing to remember is to REMEMBER you CAN change course. We just have to be aware when it's time to pivot. Sometimes, as Henry writes, "Believing that a choice is right can lead to a “Stay the course!” mentality... Rightness takes precedence over flexibility, openness and speed of execution...." Thanks for the pivot lesson, Henry. I could have done it a little sooner, however.
I just wish I had remembered all this many months ago, while I was agonizing over the "right" decision. Instead, there's not right or wrong--we just pivot, by swinging one leg around, while keep the other on solid ground. Once Warhorse learns a little more from our NC pasture, once we flex our manufacturing and logistics muscles, once we have deeper discussions with our loyal customers and big box opportunities, we can pivot again, if warranted--and it will be warranted. Warhorse will have to pivot many more times; it's part of the journey. The path to grandma's house isn't linear. Besides, a stinging learning curve makes us understand ourselves and our company better. A little "wolf" isn't always a bad thing--it keeps us on our toes by testing our core strengths.
See that sparkle in Red's eyes? She's not too afraid of the wolf.
Thanks again, Henry.