Knowing when to pivot with Victoria Grady – MBHP034 (Podcast)

by Dallon Christensen


Welcome to the whiteboard for session #34 of Making Business Happen Radio! This is the show to help you build your business playbook. My goal is for you to take these shows and become more profitable, productive, and prepared to grow your business.

This episode of Making Business Happen Radio is brought to you by the Whiteboard CMA Review. If you are looking to pass the Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exam, Whiteboard CMA Review gives you two courses to pass the exam on your time and terms. Whiteboard CMA Review’s innovative on-demand review course gives you the flexibility to prepare for the exam from any Internet-enabled device.

“Pivoting” is a key part of great businesses. Companies as large as Apple and Nokia have radically shifted their business models. When companies pivot, they change how they do business and who they serve. Dr. Victoria Grady understands the importance of “The Pivot Point” (affiliate link), and she co-authored a book with her father, Dr. James Grady, to show what it means to pivot.

victoria_gradyDr. Grady completed her Doctoral Studies at the George Washington University in May 2005. Her dissertation focused on the inherent loss of stability suffered by organizations introducing and implementing organizational change initiatives. The research resulted in a validated model (LOE Model) explaining the tendency of individuals, often subconsciously, to struggle, resist, and potentially disrupt the organizational change initiative.

Dr. Grady continues to build upon her research in the field of change management and extended her original model to include a validated index (LOE Index) that quantitatively measures the tendency of individuals within the organization to embrace organizational change initiatives. The index focuses on the employee, and how factors inherent inchange affect their performance. Subsequently, this shift in performance will have a negative impact on the overall health of the organization.

She is currently an Assistant Professorial Lecturer in the Department of Organizational Science within the Columbian School of Arts and Sciences at the George Washington University. Dr. Grady’s consulting practice includes federal government institutions, non-profit organizations, and private sector companies.

Dr. Grady and I discuss the following topics in this interview

  • What was the inspiration for you to write this book as a parable instead of a traditional non-fiction/business book?
  • On a lighter note, what is it like writing a book with your father? How can business owners with family members working in the business work well together?
  • The book’s main idea is that our resistance to change results from having to give up something dear to us. For many entrepreneurs, it’s hard to give up that first business idea. What advice do you have for them?
  • Dr. Bankston had his “Betsy”, which was an old computer he used and represented his business to that point. What can we do as small business owners to honor our own “Betsys” in our businesses?
  • Small businesses have less bureaucracy and more ability to “pivot”, but they often lack the understanding or idea framework to do this effectively. How can we build a framework to help us understand the importance of pivoting?
  • Emotion is such a big part of change. We often blind ourselves to facts when making a highly emotional decision. What can business owners do to change their mindset about including logic and facts in their decision making?
  • How important is business planning, meant as a process, to a small business that must pivot a great deal? What does this book teach entrepreneurs about understanding your business?
  • What can other team members or trusted outside voices mean to the entrepreneur who needs to pivot, but can’t bring himself to that point yet?
  • If you could give entrepreneurs one additional piece of advice from this book we haven’t discussed yet, what would that be?

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