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MACS Metrics-Pivot Analysis

No, this is not a blog about Agricultural Irrigation . . .

If one peruses business articles, the topic of “Pivoting your Business” can be found with some frequency – especially within the pandemic years. I have read at least a couple of agricultural/farm business-oriented articles on this topic as well. Thinking objectively and independently, I find these articles tend to be incomplete in their analysis of the concept of “Pivoting”. Typically, authors approach the concept of pivoting with the perspective of a firm making (or needing to make) significant changes in their business model, marketing, management, or the like. I submit this concept of pivoting fails to capture all the nuances of “Pause, Ponder and Pivot”.

First, let’s look at the technical definition of “Pivot” (see embedded image). I feel the basketball analogy of pivots and pivoting most appropriately captures the various nuances of pivoting an economic entity. (For reference, an economic entity can be your business-business or your family-business - - a topic I plan to delve into in a future blog post.)

(Quick note: I feel continuously inserting the term “he/she” gets tiresome – in my writings I may use “he” or “she” throughout – unless there is an obvious gender-specific relevance, these terms are intended to be inclusive.)

In basketball, a player runs down the court and stops – he establishes a position at a physical location and point in time. Upon receiving the ball, he chooses a pivot foot/point – he can pivot around that point and dribble in ANY direction – even backwards if that is deemed a preferred alternative in ultimately discovering a superior course. Alternatively, upon assessing the various pivot directions, he may determine the superior route is to continue in the same direction he was originally traveling when arriving at this point. The pivoted direction does not necessarily have to be a radical departure from the original course. It depends (yep, the favorite expression of Ag Econ types). ‘But it really does depend upon the specific circumstances and parameters of his present situation – Pause, Ponder and Pivot – analyze the alternatives; perhaps a coach or teammate (peer) can assist in the determination of course to take.

There are numerous business examples of pivot directions that can be depicted via this basketball analogy. One I want to highlight is the “reversal pivot”. If the path the player was on is impeded to such a degree (e.g. a double team) that attempting to continue would result in a disastrous result (turnover), the preferred course may be to back up/reverse course. Moving back to a position where alternative courses present themselves should not be seen as a failure of arriving at his previous position. Rather, it should be viewed as an astute decision to retrench, reassess, and revise his attack. To quote Thomas Edison, “I haven’t failed, I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

The start of a new year / production cycle is a natural time to Pause, Ponder and Pivot. It may be that upon objective analysis, the course you are on is adequate/superior; alternatively, it may be that only a slight pivot is deemed necessary. However, it could be that a significant pivot – or complete reversal of course (perhaps only temporary) – is required for success – requiring a significant re-evaluation of the overall game plan.

Plan to plan.

If you would like to discuss (perhaps request some coaching) about your farm business and possible pivots, feel free to contact me via the contact page on my website ( or via email at .


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