OUT TO LUNCH finds creative business consultant Aileen Bennett conducting business Acadiana style: over lunch. Each week Aileen invites guests from Acadiana's business community to join her. Beyond the foundations of the Acadiana economy - oil, cuisine, music - there is a vast network of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and even some of the country's largest companies who call Acadiana home. Out to Lunch is the cafeteria of the wider Acadiana business community. You can also hear the show on KRVS 88.7FM.
It’s not unheard of for us to jump into something with two feet and totally commit to it - only to discover some time later that things aren’t working out exactly as we planned and we need to take some remedial action.
On your wedding day, for example, you don’t imagine you’re going to find yourself a few years later making an appointment for couples therapy. When you drive off the lot in your fabulous new car, you don’t imagine that in a year you’re going to be cursing the day you got suckered in to buying it.
When you start up a business, you can also find yourself some time down the road at a point you could never have imagined on the day you launched.
In a bad marriage you have the option of divorce. The car you hate, you can sell. In business, there’s also a single word for making radical change. That word is “pivot.” “Pivoting” a business is not an admission of failure. It’s an acknowledgement of the difference between a business plan and reality. Aileen's lunch guests have recent experiences in pivoting their businesses.
Butch Roussel is the founder of a project called Civicside. Civicside lets citizens use crowdsourcing and crowdfunding - which are kind of like online versions of a town hall meeting and bake sale - to make local community projects happen in the real world. It’s a great idea. And Civicside had its moments. Out of it, Butch has come to realize that the principles of Civicside are best implemented when there’s a hard-and-fast time frame around a community project’s creation. That’s how Butch has come to pivot Civicside into what is now called The 24 Hour Citizen Project.
Shane Istre was CEO and head of Business Development for a company called Kheiron Holdings. Kheiron provided Quality, Health, Safety, and Environmental consulting and training for the Oil & Gas, Pipeline, Marine Vessel, and Construction Industries. One of the facets of this training was the use of simulation in safety and operational training for onshore and offshore personnel. Out of this experience, Shane came to realize that the industry was going in an exciting new direction. One that utilizes artificial intelligence and machine learning to create a kind of parallel universe where businesses can – in a way – time travel into the future and model possible challenges before they show up in the real world. This technology is called Digital Twin. So Shane has pivoted his company to become a new entity, now called Digital Twin Studios.
In business, being able to change with changing times, and being able to adapt to changing markets and demands, is the difference between being left behind in the dust and being out front in the lead.