Pivoting is a cycle, not a one-and-done linear process. In this video, learn about the launch stage. Learn about different types of internal launches, such as working abroad, rotation programs, and more.
- You've done all this great prep work and maybe you've even started experimenting and reaching out to others, but how do you know when you're done piloting and ready to go all-in on a new direction? In other words, launch, the forth and final stage of the pivot method. It's important to note that some people can be happy piloting for months if not years, so there's no pressure to make a bigger change unless that's what your pilots indicate. Some bigger launch moments include changing teams, moving to another country but staying in the same role, pivoting departments within an organization, or sometimes leaving for another company altogether, though I always encourage people to do everything they can to stay first.
While piloting involves a series of continual small experiments that provide information about your next move, the launch stage is when you make that big decision that completes your pivot. These decisions don't have a guaranteed successful outcome, though you will have reduced risk throughout the pilot stage. I've included a handout to guide you as you cycle through the pivot process, and when to summarize your overall pivot action plan and next steps When you think about the process of pivoting in the big picture sense, imagine a scale with your Comfort Zone on one side of the balance and your willingness to take a career risk on the other.
As the risks surrounding a new direction starts to outweigh the comfort of staying in place, many pivoters experience the following sequence of inner events leading up to their launch. Pivotes often start just below the surface of your awareness, with a slight dissatisfaction or a whisper in your gut about the desire to change, even if you haven't expressed anything outwardly yet. On the risk-o-meter, this state falls within the comfort or stagnation zones. Soon, however, staying in place becomes increasingly uncomfortable.
You realize that it's time to pivot, but aren't exactly sure what, when or how to do something about it. You have started to outgrow your comfort zone. At this point, you're ready to plant. Identify what you want to do moving forward, and uncover clues from your existing career portfolio of strengths, interests and experiences. In the second stage, you start preparing yourself for risk by scanning, learning, talking to others and looking for examples of people who've been successful in the areas you're aiming for.
In the third stage, you dip your toe in the water, testing your new direction by piloting. Fear may be heightened at this point as the option to pivot becomes increasingly real, but so will your sense of anticipation, excitement, and adventure. If you're scanning and piloting strategically, you'll be in your stretch zone, not your panic zone. Pull back on pilots that send you into your panic zone and look for smaller next steps instead. In the fourth stage, the tipping point occurs. You know that no matter what, you're willing to launch in the new direction even if you fail.
At this point, you would regret not trying more than trying and not meeting your expectations. Besides, after piloting you will have increased your chances of success, so as the scale tips and you meet your launch decision criteria, you close out the former option and pivot.
- Optimizing your current role
- Identifying your strengths
- Crafting a one-year vision of success
- Making connections to "friendtors" and one-off mentors
- Creating a skill-building game plan
- Identifying small experiments and stretch projects
- Embracing smart risks
- Mapping next moves to make a greater impact