What We're Reading This Fall

When our team’s not drafting strategic communications plans, we’re curling up with good books — and not just business-related titles. From seasonally-appropriate mysteries to wine and war history, our interests prove as diverse as our clients. Here are some of the page-turners keeping us engaged this fall.

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

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Fans of Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock should pick this up immediately. Equal parts shocking and gripping, The Silent Patient begs to be read with a cup of something hot on a quiet night in.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

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Fall is a great time to read this classic self-help book. As we’ve entered a fresh time of year and the last quarter of 2019, it’s good to check in on goals we’ve made and what we’re looking to achieve in 2020.

Girl Last Seen by Nina Laurin

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A gripping psychological thriller, Girl Last Seen is about two missing girls, thirteen years apart. An intense psychological thriller for readers of I Am Watching You, The Luckiest Girl Alive, and All the Missing Girls.

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequist

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In Present Over Perfect, New York Times bestselling author Shauna Niequist invites you to consider the landscape of your own life, and what it might look like to leave behind the pressure to be perfect and begin the life-changing practice of simply being present, in the middle of the mess and the ordinariness of life.

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

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Perfect for fans of Barbara Kingsolver and Karen Russell, Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps.

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

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Margaret Atwood brings the iconic story of The Handmaid's Tale to a dramatic conclusion in this riveting sequel. More than 15 years after the events of The Handmaid's Tale, the theocratic regime of the Republic of Gilead maintains its grip on power, but there are signs it is beginning to rot from within. At this crucial moment, the lives of three radically different women converge, with potentially explosive results. 

Wine and War by Don & Petie Kladstrup

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This is the thrilling and harrowing story of the French wine producers who undertook ingenious, daring measures to save their cherished crops and bottles as the Germans closed in on them. Wine and War illuminates a compelling, little-known chapter of history, and stands as a tribute to those extraordinary individuals who waged a battle that, in a very real way, saved the spirit of France.

The Freedom Line by Peter Eisner

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Compared to Casablanca by the Washington Post, The Freedom Line is a page turning story of a group of resistance workers who secreted downed Allied fighter pilots through France and into safety in Spain during World War II.

I’m Fine and Neither Are You by Camille Pagán

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Honesty is the best policy…except maybe when it comes to marriage. I’m Fine and Neither Are You is a brilliant novel about the high price of perfection from this bestselling author.

Zietoun by Dave Eggers

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This true story of one family, caught between America’s two biggest policy disasters: the war on terror and the response to Hurricane Katrina is a great read.

 

October 16: Communications Planning Workshop

Want to launch your brand or a new product/service and need advice on communications? Come to this free event - pizza lunch included! Pivot Founder & CEO, Stacia Nelson, will share tips to identify audiences, key messages, channels and how to pull it all together into a comprehensive and holistic communications plan. Non WeWork members are welcome as Pivot guests. Please RSVP your name, title/role, and company name to bailey@pivotstrategiesconsulting.com.

Event details: Oct 16, 12:00PM - 1:30PM
WeWork 1330 Lagoon Ave, Conference Room 4B

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Where Are the Women in Tunisia?

If you asked most people where Tunisia is, they probably couldn’t find it on a map. A few months ago, I raised my hand when presented with the opportunity to venture there to help with an economic development project. At Pivot, we believe in helping others. It's a part of who we are.

Tunisia is a predominantly Muslim country located in the very northern part of Africa, tucked between Libya and Algeria. Relatively new to democracy, transitioning from a dictatorship nine years ago, the country has been focused on growing its economy. I traveled to Tunisia to support that effort by helping 18 business centers improve communications and with a goal of supporting entrepreneurs, helping them find funding, and sustaining growth over time.

Planning for the Unexpected

It’s that time of year – whether it’s because we’re watching the weather forecasts and bracing for the worst or digging into budgets and annual planning – many of our clients are dusting off their crisis management plans and are looking to upgrade or start fresh. 

There’s been no shortage of high-profile corporate incidents and executive mishaps this year (I won’t name names). Crises happen to even the most prepared and well-meaning organizations. However, it’s still surprising to see the number of Fortune 500 companies that experience a crisis and respond in a less than favorable way. When a highly public crisis hits, it becomes easy to spot which companies were caught completely unprepared. Whether it’s an inability to identify what happened, talk about the crisis or take quick actions to make things right, or simply a misguided or flubbed media response (cringe!).

Communications: Going Back to the Basics

As school begins, it’s a good reminder for all of us grown-up kids to get back to the basics. Clear and effective communications are critical to helping people through a change. As we manage change, we should not expect people to do things differently if they were not aware of new expectations in the first place. I know I’m stating the obvious here, but sometimes we need a reminder of the immense importance of communications in managing change. We do everything we can to deliver the best communications possible to our stakeholders, though at times, we miss the mark.

Organizational Change Management: Providing the Needed Structure

Like many change professionals, I practiced organizational change management before I knew that it was a profession in itself. After leading change initiatives in the education industry, I began looking for tools that would help me more effectively plan these messy, large-scale organizational change efforts. Through connections, I learned of the Minnesota Change Management Network and subsequently, the well-regarded Prosci certification.

Stacia Tells the Story of Pivot

Hi, my name is Stacia Nelson, Founder and CEO of Pivot Strategies. In 2015, my husband Dan had just quit his communications job to pursue a career in nursing. With an 11-month old daughter, our plan was for me to hold down the fort with my corporate communications job until Dan finished school. Much to our surprise, a month later I was included in the major layoffs at Target. I shared the news on social media, and was fortunate to receive interest from past coworkers to consult on a couple of projects with them. At first I was apprehensive...but opted to try it. I lucked out with three amazing first clients: Nike, American Express and Cargill. I found that I LOVE consulting. And, it was mutual, because the clients were happy with the work.

Jody Foege Joins Our Team

Pivot Strategies is excited to welcome Jody Foege to the team! Jody is a Prosci certified organizational change manager with a broad cross-section of skills and talents. Most recently, she led complex technology implementations at Medtronic in the human resources and supply chain spaces. Prior to joining Medtronic, she assisted in large programmatic change efforts in the education industry, including roles at Minneapolis Public Schools, Saint Paul Public Schools, and Guadalupe Center, a successful non-profit organization in south Florida. Jody will continue to expand her expertise in organizational change management here at Pivot. Fun fact? She became a certified scuba diver and hung with orangutans during her five years living and teaching in Asia. We look forward to working with Jody and learning more about her exciting background!

Pivot Strategies LLC Certified as a Women-Owned Business

MINNEAPOLIS – Dec. 13, 2017 – Pivot Strategies LLC, a Minneapolis-based agency specializing in strategic communications, received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).

WBENC’s national standard of certification is a meticulous process, including an in-depth review of the business. The certification process is designed to confirm the business is at least 51 percent owned, operated, and controlled by a woman or women. Pivot Strategies is 100 percent woman owned by founder and CEO Stacia Nelson.