pivotThis year may have started out well for some, but ended not so well for most.  The tentacles of this pandemic changed our lives in so many ways.  We had to get creative in order to survive, literally. I kept hearing the word pivot, mostly from companies in terms of their business models.

Early on, as the cases started to rise at alarming rates, the mandate came down for businesses to close that were not deemed essential, to try to stop the spread of the virus. This caused a cascade of issues mostly related to businesses closing, at first temporarily, then some were closing permanently.

When the businesses started closing, employees were laid off.  Unemployment claims skyrocketed and essential supplies were difficult to find.  That’s when I first started hearing the word pivot.

Non-essential businesses used the pivot strategy to start making the supplies that were needed, even when their business models were very different, just to keep from closing. They used the resources they had, or were able to acquire, by making face masks, face shields, and even ventilators for the overwhelmed healthcare workers that didn’t have this vital equipment.

Another wave of businesses that were really struggling seemed to be restaurants. They used the pivot strategy when eat in dining was no longer allowed due to social distancing rules. All of their business became curbside pickup or delivery.

Businesses were not alone in using a pivot strategy.  Every person on earth used this strategy in some way. In this context, pivot means to shift the way you’re doing things. It may not mean a drastic change; it may just be a slight shift to adapt to change.

The stay-at-home directive caused us to use the resources we have, in order find ways to acquire income, food and supplies to keep on keeping on. There are other aspects that caused us to pivot, such as our mental health.

Humans need social interaction with others to keep our sanity.  But what can we do when we’re trying to stop the spread of this deadly airborne virus? We are no longer allowed to congregate in groups, even small ones. We are no longer allowed to shake hands or hug one another. We learned to pivot.

Video calls became an all-important aspect in our lives in many ways. Many companies encouraged their employees to work from home which led to more collaboration using skype or Zoom.

Video calls became the staple for connecting with others both professionally and personally. We couldn’t touch each other but we could at least see one another.  Happy hours, holidays and other social interactions with family, friends and colleagues kept us all safe by way of a video call.

These are just some ways that I thought of that caused us to pivot, or shift actions, in our everyday lives. I’m sure there are more that I haven’t thought of.  So, I will ask you, ‘how did you pivot in 2020?’.