There’s a term psychologists use called “the pivot.” The tech industry uses "pivot" to mean a change in business strategy triggered by product or market feedback. But, when psychologists use it they mean it as a catalyst for release. The pivot exercise is meant to steer the individual away from disruptive or unfruitful actions by challenging them to go a different direction entirely. The goal? To let go.
In the second season of Billions the character Wendy Rhoades (psychologist to financial traders) sums this up in a speech she gives her husband to encourage him to let go of a damning plan, “I have this exercise I do [with clients]," she says. "It's called the 180. I use it when they’ve really lost the thread, when they’re so fixated on a stock that they can’t see it’s a dumpster burning in front of them… but only a great few can go the opposite way. They can pivot and recognize [the investment is] a short.”
In content marketing, we often cling to some very bad habits. Whether they are habits of our own making, or those adopted from the culture that surrounds us, our content decision making often comes with irrational and emotional entanglements. Quite frequently they’re enabled by others.
Our certainty leads us down a path of certain destruction. When this happens we typically lean into our own stubbornness. We fail hard, eventually find our way through, or have someone rescue us.
But what if we pivoted instead? What trouble could we have saved ourselves in the past? If we could go back to the beginning, what would we tell ourselves based on what we know now? Where should we have done a 180?
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