(Photo credit: Jason Thibault via Flickr Creative Commons)

One of the most overused terms in entrepreneurship is “pivot.” You’ve undoubtedly seen it used by various startups, and it seems like they’re trying to fix a broken business. Or it may seem like they’ve tapped into some new insight and are following a more promising path. While the term is tired and overused, let’s take a different look by exploring transformation.

What I’ve come to realize in the course of co-founding a business with some smart partners is that you don’t always have the answers, and sometimes the direction in which you think you’re headed isn’t aligned with where you want to arrive.

Allow me to explain.

Our Beginnings

When Brain+Trust Partners first established itself in late 2016 as a group of peripheral visionaries who had our fair share of corporate experience, we initially eschewed the phrase digital transformation. We thought that phrase was overused — particularly because there had been so little done about it. But as soon as we began to have some meaningful discussions with potential clients, they used the term “digital transformation.” It seemed to be the order of the day.

One of the challenges of referring to digital transformation is that it can mean many things to many people. And so it does with us. There is one thing it does not mean, though: shiny objects and trend-chasing. We’re experienced enough to know how that turns out. Done well, digital transformation takes stock of your organizational structure, business processes, and technology stack to make sense of things. Ultimately that means doing things quickly and more cost-effectively. Done poorly, it means hopping from platform to platform and trend to trend, creating more heat than light.

We decided early on that in the triumvirate of people, process and technology, it’s essential that we tackle our consulting work in that order. That is, we look at digital challenges and customer experience woes through the eyes of employees and customers first. Then we look at process and workflows and only then do we move on to technology analyses and audits. We’ve seen too many examples with an approach that is completely opposite, and that ends up forcing people into technologies that they don’t care for or won’t use to the fullest extent plausible.

This is an exciting time to be providing strategic guidance and management consulting services, as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and predictive analytics are getting more attention. Over the last year, Brain+Trust has built a strong network of technology companies that provide some mind-blowing solutions that help organizations get smarter about themselves and their customers by bringing data in-house (as opposed to either giving it away or sharing customer data with third-party platforms), making customer-centricity mean something by generating insights and determining what’s likely in a sea of uncertainty.

What We Offer

So whether it’s developing content strategies, customer journey analytics, digital and social strategy, business road mapping, customer experience improvement, systems audit and analysis, the Brain+Trust Partners approach we’ve developed is rigorous and based on real experience inside of some of the world’s largest enterprises. And, we’re delivering a deeper understanding of your customer behaviors and preferences, confident data governance, real-time insights that are actionable, more intelligent and relevant customer interactions, reduced cost of operations, and trustworthy advice. The clarity provided across all of these efforts helps us, and our clients, sleep better each night.  

One visible area in which we’ve begun to apply the above is DealerAlchemy, a services and solutions offering for forward-thinking auto dealers who are looking for a more frictionless experience for customers and the dealership alike. We’ll be making some more moves with this group in the months ahead, as vehicle ownership models change and mobility as a service takes further hold in certain markets.

What’s Next

And even sooner — over the next few weeks — Brain+Trust Partners will be making some announcements regarding our structure and focus. I can’t say much more about it now, but it will involve some well-respected industry veterans and changemakers, as we continue to narrow our focus on how smart executives may achieve greater success by providing a unique and well-qualified perspective.

Is it a pivot? Well, pivot can be both a noun and a verb. The verb means “to turn on a point.” The noun means “a person or a thing that plays a central role in an activity or organization.”

We’ll go with the noun.