The Possibility Pivot

Looking for a new path forward? Identify challenges and find new direction with this quick exercise to help take action and unlock possibilities.

How to use:

  1. Download the template or get a blank sheet of paper and grab a pen. If you’re using a blank paper, draw three columns. At the top of column one, write the word “Challenge.” At the top of column two, write the word “Adapt.” Finally, at the top of column three, write the word “Reimagine.” Make sure to leave enough room at the bottom so you can fill in information and ideas for each segment.
  2. Let’s begin with column one, Challenge. Start to think about all of the different issues, feelings, pain points, and challenges you might be experiencing right now. For example, if you are a restauranteur that was forced to close during the Covid-19 pandemic, you may be concerned about the loss of patronage for sit-down meals. What can you do if your customers aren’t allowed to enter your restaurant? Write down any and all thoughts that show up for you here.
  3. In column two, Adapt, let’s start to think about key actions that can be taken to modify or reframe those challenges. How can we use words like shift, remove, and automate to form new solutions or opportunities? In the template, we’ve provided a sample list of actions to get you started, but you can add as many as you like. For our restaurateur, he or she may choose to “Add” a new process or “Automate” an existing one.
  4. In column three, Reimagine, write down tangible ways you can use those action words to develop new strategies. For example, our restauranteur may want to “Shift” to a curbside pick-up model, “Add” a new delivery option, and “Automate” the delivery schedule by mapping it through GPS. Once you’ve done this for each of your challenges, you will have created a list of new ideas and pivot points to work with.
  5. To take it a step further, you may want to plot these new possibilities on a grid based on their impact and the effort required. Maybe you’ve come up with so many ideas, you don’t know where to begin. This will help to determine what order of priority for executing should be. We’ve developed a micro experience called “The Progress Project” that you can use to helping you plot your ideas if you’re feeling stuck.


This exercise can be done using any subject – whether it’s your own personal challenges, or those of your customers. To better understand your customers’ pain points before completing this exercise, head on over to our empathy mapping exercise to take a quick stroll in their shoes.

The Takeaway:

When we’re faced with challenges, it may be hard to see a clear solution. The key is the consider them not solutions, but possibilities and opportunities to change direction or pivot into new ventures that will create more success for yourself and/or your customers. By clearly identifying your challenges and mapping them against key action phrases, you’ll be more able to see through the weeds and find a new path forward.

Have a question about this exercise? Need something custom for your org? We can help. 

Contact Us
©2021 thinkfwd. All rights reserved
Made in CT