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What Is The Pivot? We Asked Intel, Zappos, Instagram, Pandora, Box...

The final video of Fast Company’s "Pivot" series examines how almost 20 companies, including Intel, Instagram, and Zappos, view the strategic shifts that led to their success.

Pivot. Pivot. Pivot. Ask about strategic change, and it’s a safe bet that any group of technology executives will turn into a chorus of entrepreneurial frogs. But just because the word "pivot" is at the tip of every tech founder’s tongue—and almost all will agree it’s an overused term—doesn’t mean there’s any consensus on what it means.

It’s an admission of failure. It’s a glory badge. It should be done all the time. It’s a sign of desperation. You lose key members of the team. Your team is reenergized.

Few will dispute that sometimes it’s just what’s needed to resuscitate a dying company or startup.

In the final video in Fast Company’s Pivot series we look back on almost 20 companies' successful turnarounds, including Intel, Instagram, and Zappos, and how they view the strategic shifts that led to their success.

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  • nikipayne

    Interesting that not a single woman is represented in this list of successful turnarounds....

  • Lynne Lloyd, People Results

    Totally agree Monique.  There are no lack of women entrepreneurs - in fact, women-owned and led business is exploding all over the world.  Women are incredible entrepreneurs, very creative, and agile in response to the market.

    One key element is that many women have abandoned The Corporation and started their own enterprises that they can run with their own personal valules, that generate more than the typical ROI (as important as this is to survive) - they want joy, balance and life in their lives.  Sometimes these small women-led businesses become really big but then they turn guessed it, Corporations!  

  • Anjali Mullany

    I also agree this isn't the most diverse photo in our archive! I've told others this too -- one of the cool things about working at Fast Company, for me, is that the editors make a very active effort in our editorial meetings to make sure we're talking about the entire innovator community, not just part of it, when we pitch ideas for stories and for covers -- and we hope that is apparent when our readers take in our full spectrum of coverage online and in print. Obviously, we will forever have a lot of room to keep discovering more companies and more people who are pushing boundaries and have lessons to share. Your feedback on this is definitely appreciated, everyone, thanks! - Anjali

  • Monique Reece

    A great series with inspiring stories, but for goodness sake, where are the women? Does the series imply that women "get it right" the first time and don't need to pivot, or there is a lack of women entrepreneurs?

  • Devin C. Hughes

    I agree that you may want to broaden the scope next time and include a few more faces of color.

  • Todd Hannula

    Not a comment about FC, but the photo montage is sad reality of access to change/power. Every single person in the montage is a white male! Groupthink, comes to mind.