pivoting a company

Unit 11
Pivoting a Company

Workplace English/Communication Skills


Share your ideas with your teacher and try to make sentences.

What do you think are the reasons why a company will change its operating strategies?


Repeat  these  sentences  after  your  teacher.

1. carve out (phr.) 安排出(時間)
From now on, we will carve out success!

2. long time coming  (phr.) 早該到來
This has been a long time coming.

3. stock photography (phr.) 圖片庫
Google has many stock photography.

4. pivoting (n.) 轉型
Pivoting a company is hard at first.

5. household names (n.)家喻戶曉的名字(名人)
Many business have household names.

6. stay the course (idi.) 保持路線
Shall we stay the course or change it?

7. saw the writing on the wall (phr.) 看到不好的徵兆
He was angry when he saw the writing on the wall.


Read the dialogue aloud with your teacher.

I’m glad we have a chance to carve out some time to focus on the future… this has been a long time coming.

I absolutely agree, Mack. We’ve got some big decisions ahead of us, and I love the business we’ve built, but I’m glad we’re on the same page that we need to change course.

We have a lot to be proud of - I mean, we practically created the market for stock photography, but that market has already changed, and if we make the right choices right now, we’ve got an opportunity to really build the future we want.

You know - I was thinking about that exact thing when I read an article on businesses that have successfully pivoted earlier, and I really feel that is exactly where we are now.

Pivoting… I think I’ve heard of that before. What was the article about exactly?

Well, basically, a lot of household names in business have been exactly where we are now - and what made them who they are today was knowing when to stay the course, or change course completely.  Pivoting is changing course completely. Take Twitter for example…
基本上很多家喻戶曉的企業都經歷過我們現在在面對的抉擇。它們知道什麼時候該堅持,什麼時候該徹底轉變,這才 取得了今天的成就。轉型意味著方向徹底的轉變。拿Twitter來說……

Yeah, didn’t Twitter start as some other company related to podcasts?
是。 Twitter一開始不是做播客相關的嗎?

Exactly! They were originally called Odeo, and were a social network where people subscribed to podcasts – but they saw the writing on the wall when Apple and iTunes started to dominate that niche.

But how did they become Twitter then? I mean, they’re miles away from podcast subscriptions now!

They are - but they basically told their employees that they had two weeks to rewrite the entire script, and that’s where the idea to be a status-based micro-blogging platform emerged.

I didn’t know that… kind of amazing! Speaking of - look where we’re meeting! Starbucks went from selling coffee machines and beans to actually making fresh brew in stores…

You took the words out of my mouth! I mean, if Howard Schultz hadn’t had the vision to actually bring a European style coffeehouse to the US, we wouldn’t even be meeting here now! Who the heck  would even know what a Venti is? It’s become the most common out-of-office meeting place, and has totally changed the global coffee industry!
你把我想說的給說了!我是說,如果Howard Schultz沒有把歐洲風格的咖啡屋帶到美國的遠見,我們就不會在這裡見面了。誰會知道Venti是什麼?現在這裡成了公司外最常去的見面場所,並且徹底改變了全球咖啡產業。

So - what makes us the next Twitter or Starbucks? What’s our pivot?

Yeah… that’s the million dollar question. The key with pivoting is to capitalize on what is working, and parlay that to a breakthrough success.

So, what is working best for us? What do we leverage?

Before we answer that, let’s Tweet a picture of a double-shot espresso… it’ll be
good for inspiration at least!


The use of interjections

Interjections are words that are typically used to express emotion or emphasis – but they can have a wide range of meaning and tone. Although they are typically placed at the beginning of a sentence, they may also adopt informal meanings as descriptors.

1. He’s a darn fine negotiator.

2. Darn! I forgot my cell phone at home again!

3. Bravo! You did a great job in your speech!

4. Yikes! I didn’t think the earnings this quarter would be so low.

5. Holy cow! I’ve never seen someone run that fast!

6. Gah! I just can’t get this spreadsheet to print.

7. Dang! I think it’s broken! (negative)

8. Dang! That’s an incredible deal! (positive)


Make a conversation with your teacher.

1.What do you think are the factors that will lead a company to success?