This past year has been a journey of introspection and adaptation, both personally and professionally. Like many, I've experienced moments of grappling with maintaining optimism, feeling tethered to inertia and habits formed over the turbulent last few years. The pandemic did more than just disrupt our lives; it accelerated changes already in motion - both for better and for worse - and made us question our very footing. After a year of such profound transition, the question that looms before us is: where do we go from here? Some look backward for answers, others gaze forward, while many of us stand frozen, unsure of the next step.
The reality we face is stark, yet it brims with potential: The world has changed, and in tandem, so have we. As we stand at the threshold of another year, it's essential to reflect on our journey and take stock of our learnings. The change we've experienced occurred at a pace we weren't fully prepared for. Yet, perhaps this is the wake-up call we needed, a reminder that to stay relevant and resilient, we must learn to adapt at a quicker pace. Looking ahead, embracing the new normal becomes not just an option, but a necessity. In this context, Peter Drucker's profound words, "The best way to predict the future is to create it," resonate with newfound depth.
In 2024, I find myself drawn to a concept termed 'Shivot' - a blend of shifting and pivoting, crafted to navigate our ever-evolving landscape. This term wasn't my invention; it was coined several months ago by an insightful member of our team. It emerged as a response to the need for rapid, multi-directional movement in the face of constant change. But as I reflect on our journey and contemplate our path forward, shedding what weighs us down and setting our sights on new horizons, I keep returning to the imperative of 'Shivot'. So, with that in mind, here is my attempt at encapsulating this powerful concept:
Shivot [shiv-oht] verb
Origin: Originated by a seasoned senior buyer in the retail industry, creatively blending the words "shift" and "pivot."
Definition: To adapt and evolve in response to changing circumstances by combining the flexibility and responsiveness of 'shifting' with the strategic, directed change of 'pivoting'. 'Shivot' encapsulates a proactive and agile approach to navigating the complexities and rapid changes in the retail and consumer marketing landscape.
Contextual Use: In an industry that requires constant adaptation to new consumer behaviors, technological advancements, and global market shifts, to 'shivot' means to embrace these changes with agility and strategic foresight. It involves quickly adjusting ('shifting') to emerging trends and consumer needs while also making significant, calculated changes in strategy or approach ('pivoting'). 'Shivot' implies an active, forward-thinking stance, not just reacting to change, but anticipating and shaping it to maintain relevance and achieve success.
As we leave this year of transition and lean forward, a 'shivot' in our thinking and actions is indispensable. This means not just keeping pace but setting the pace in a rapidly changing world and being willing and capable of multiple changes at one time. Taking responsibility for our own actions and reactions. Finding new ways to connect the dots, between opportunities and each other. Leveraging the diverse experiences of those around us.
In our professional lives, it means embracing uncertainty as a catalyst for innovation and growth. We must shed our hesitation, re-engage with strategies that worked in the past, and blend them with new approaches born of recent experiences. It's about recognizing that the path to success in our industry no longer follows a straight line but a more dynamic, multifaceted route.
In our personal lives, it means confronting our lingering hesitancies and fears. For me, this has meant recognizing that, while I have started traveling and finding my footing, I am still, in some ways, acting as if under quarantine. The sociability, self-care, and momentum that once came naturally now require a conscious effort to rekindle. Shivoting personally means actively pushing against this inertia, choosing to create an environment where we can thrive. It may involve tough decisions or uncomfortable conversations, but stagnation is a risk we can't afford.
As John F. Kennedy wisely put it, "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." Let's move forward with optimism, creativity, and the courage to embrace the 'Shivot'. This year is our canvas, and 'Shivot' is our brush. Let's paint a future that's not just a reaction to changes but a proactive creation of a new, thriving world.
Writer's Note: First, let's admit that the word 'Shivot' is quite fun to say. I'm half-tempted to trademark it, but I suspect I'd owe a hefty royalty to its creator (which I am perfectly ok with!) But seriously, as we venture into the practicalities and sustainability of 'shivot-ing', I'm reminded that this isn't about grand New Year's resolutions. Instead, it's about setting smart goals and embracing measured change. It's about finding comfort and capability in the 'Shivot' dance towards a new normal that sparkles with possibility.
I'll be revisiting this concept throughout 2024, kind of like checking in on a garden to see what's bloomed. If this resonates – I'd love to hear from you. How are you 'shivoting' in your life? What changes are you embracing, and what exciting paths are you carving out? Share your 'Shivot' stories and insights with me. Let’s see if we can make this a collective journey. Then, let's rendezvous back here in a year. We can swap tales and see just how far our 'Shivot' steps have taken us. Who knows? We might just start a 'Shivot' revolution!