Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Tired sports jargon - please don’t say pivot when another word would be better

Jane Genova is horribly prolific. That is, she cranks out a plethora of blog posts (16 just this year), some highly questionable. I look at Alltop Speaking each day, so I glance at Speaking Pro Central and see some of her post titles.

One of her posts yesterday was titled Megyn Kelly aka Megawattage Pivots to NBC - Fox News Brand In Play. That’s a horrible title - using two items of sports jargon- “pivot” and “in play.” If she had thought a bit longer, she might instead have said that Megyn had jumped from Fox News to NBC.

Pivot is:

“A term in basketball used to define both the act of keeping one foot in place while moving the other and the actual foot which remains on the ground. Keeping one foot in place is necessary when a player stops dribbling the ball but wishes to re-position himself for a pass or shot.” 

An image of a pivot is shown above. An article by Eric Ries on June 22, 2009 at Startup Lessons Learned titled Pivot, don’t jump to a new vision transferred the concept to business:

“I want to introduce the concept of the pivot, the idea that successful startups change directions but stay grounded in what they've learned. They keep one foot in the past and place one foot in a new possible future. Over time, this pivoting may lead them far afield from their original vision, but if you look carefully, you'll be able to detect common threads that link each iteration. By contrast, many unsuccessful startups simply jump outright from one vision to something completely different.”

UPDATE January 7, 2017

Very curiously today Jane Genova posted on "Pivot," "Deep dive," "Disrupt," et al. - Buzzwords Belonging in Graveyard. I wonder what started that.   

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