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Curiosity, Heart, Dots, Foolishness

Following curiosity and heart…what Pivot Point has been up to since our February launch…

I recently re-watched Steve Job’s Stanford commencement address from 2005. The speech’s themes continue to resonate - follow your curiosity, dots connect if you do, follow your heart, stay hungry and foolish.

My journey with Pivot Point has, in a very short time yielded a constellation of curiously heartfelt and foolishly connected dots.

Following My Heart

The deaths of Daunte Wright, Ma'Khia Bryant and verdict in the Chauvin trial put this blog post on hold until now. It didn’t feel respectful to post anything that wasn’t amplifying black voices.

Over the last year, I’ve sought to broaden my perspectives and network. To that end, Pivot Point has been intentionally connecting with BIPOC thought leaders as well as organizations. These connections have opened my eyes, sharpened skills and filled my heart.

One example is Culture Booster, started by Stephen Moore. Through my 30 years of life in all sizes of organizations, nothing has been more important than culture. I’ve seen how each of those organizations and we as executives struggled to create consistent positive culture. Culture Booster has built a platform that operationalizes the important actions that build culture. Pivot Point is working with the Culture Booster team to craft sales and investment positioning.

Another client in our near-future is focusing on broadening the stories we hear when we all get back to live theater. Most of the stories come from a very narrow white point of view depending on your media channels. This project will open hearts and minds to differences. And in those differences, we will find the truth that we are the same. With over 400 years of racism in our country to fix, this exciting project will be built for the long term. More as it develops…

Foolish Dots

In 2019 I wrote a white paper on the mental health epidemic affecting kids in the US for a group of foundation CEO’s. We were looking at it from the perspective of raising money to address the issue at children’s hospitals. From that day forward, I’ve wanted to fix this problem.


Many wise, educated, invested, and experienced individuals have been trying for many years to address the need. I networked and interviewed experts in this field, here in Minnesota, across the country and internationally. We came to believe it was a timing issue and arrived at the conclusion that perhaps the pandemic has made it the right time to try again. As a society we are all talking about mental health.

A generous group of executives have come together as an adhoc team with public, private, provider, payer, and institutional points of view to try, yet again, to solve the problem. Maybe we’ll start in Minnesota, maybe we’ll shoot for more. But, since I started Pivot Point, I thought, why not work on this most needed pivot. Perhaps the dots will connect.

Passion and Curiosity

I attended an international fundraising hackathon last fall led by UNICEF. I connected with each of the 10 finalists who were from diverse places like Australia, Britain, Italy, Nigeria, Denmark, Germany, Argentina and Brazil. This led, in turn, to learning how other parts of the world look at fundraising and the context in which they raise those funds.

This led to three concurrent projects.

· A US market test for a cutting-edge Italian data science firm focused on improving direct mail response rates.

· A US market test for a British tech startup that has designed a simple tool that removes friction from asks within a video or live stream format. We all use video to engage supporters in advocacy, stewardship, events and donations. This platform turns every video and live stream into a call to action.

· A very nascent project with a group of AI professionals to find a new way to measure nonprofit impact.

OK, more exciting things on the horizon for Pivot Point.

If you or your organization are looking for help building strategy, forming strong partnerships and raising money, please reach out and let’s talk.

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