A lesson in pivoting

The thumbnail version:

  • This shop pivoted rather than close
  • It’s a lesson in consulting end-users

The full version:

The September edition of Sign Media Magazine had an interesting illustration of a successful pivot to meet changing circumstances. The lesson was buried near the end of an article about North Design Build, a sign shop in Hamilton.

Like most other shops, North Design Build was hit hard by the impact of COVID-19. Rather than close (as some did) they decided to pivot to making personal protection equipment, most specifically a face shield. This is where the pivoting lesson comes in.

The interviewer asked the owner, Kenneth Tschernow, about the challenges involved and how they overcame them. The answer is illuminating: “Developing a face shield that is comfortable and functional while conforming to the Government of Canada’s material recommendations was the real challenge. We overcame this by launching a feedback campaign, which encouraged all end-users to submit their comments, complaints, and recommendations. This data along with a few healthcare practitioners’ napkin sketches helped us further refine our design, making it a true one-size-fits-all, useful, and practical product.”

The rest of the article is well worth a read but the excerpt above gives some insight into what you have to do when pivoting into something in which you have little experience—consult the end user.