How To Re-Invent Yourself and Improve Your Productivity
No matter how stuck you may feel, there is almost always a way to discover new possibilities. Getting to the next level in your career means something different to each of us. For you, it could be launching a start-up, landing a big promotion, improving your work/life balance, or making a bigger impact in your community. The thing all of us have in common, even the best of the best, is the opportunity to break through to a higher level of performance and achievement.Here are a few ways to re-invent yourself and improve you productivity
Draw Up Your Personal Reinvention Plan
Just like organizational transformation, personal reinvention can be achieved by taking a systematic approach with your career:
Set a clear vision. Map out your desired end state with incredible detail. Assemble images of what the desired state will be like for you, how you’ll feel, and what your surroundings will look like. They will be a powerful weapon to keep you focused and help you fight back adversity along the way.
Do a gap assessment. As you build your reinvention plan, identify the soft spots. What areas do you need to change, improve or supplement in order to achieve your desired outcome? List all the differences from your starting point to your destination so it becomes a to-do list.
Identify costs and sacrifices. It’s important to take an honest look at what costs and sacrifices will be necessary to bring your vision to life. All things worth doing require sacrifice and commitment. Make sure you know these parameters going in.
Find mentors. Getting inspired by others can be the difference maker in your reinvention efforts. Reach out to those who are in that position, and respectfully request their help.
Conduct a pre-mortem. Think about all the ways your reinvention could fall of the tracks. Do this up front, and use the insights as guardrails throughout your transformation.
Build accountability markers. Putting a system of penalties and rewards in place will boost your ability to achieve. For optimal results, have someone else help hold you accountable.
Track, measure, refine. Tracking weekly performance in specific areas will allow you to keep yourself focused and on track.This way, you can adjust your actions without losing ground.
As you develop your overall reinvention plan, focusing on yourself can be the most challenging yet rewarding effort of all. Rebuilding your company and rebuilding your character are not mutually exclusive competing forces, but rather symbiotic in achieving sustainable success. Interestingly enough, the more you help the world, the more commercial success you’ll likely gain. Becoming a more caring, giving, purposeful person will actually drive the economic gain you seek. It’s an “and,” not an “or.”
Think of each of the following categories as important muscles that you must build and maintain for optimal performance and well-being:
Empathy. The best business leaders carefully manage the emotional state of those around them. They realize that people perform at their very best while feeling supported and appreciated. You’ll seize your full potential only by supporting the imagination, confidence and sense of purpose in others.
Compassion. Business leaders are quick to pick favorites while admonishing the laggards. These labels seep into our souls. The good news is that labeling can work the other way too. Catch a team member in the act of delivering great work, and you’ll inject her with confidence and energy.
Courage. Let go of the worry demon, and embrace the new abundance of time and energy that will come as a result of developing courage.
Positivity. Think about how different your days would be if you replaced blame with gratitude, how your confidence would skyrocket if your internal dialogue shifted from resentment to praise.
Discipline. Carving out just 5 to 10 percent of your time for focused improvement will quickly advance your performance. A training regimen will drive your character and career to the next level.
Creativity. Creativity is your most important source of sustainable competitive advantage, the core building block of all reinvention. The ones who break through the barriers look for fresh approaches to tackling the most difficult hurdles.
Grit. Good old-fashioned grit has been statistically linked to being the No. 1 indicator of high performance. Grit can be developed and harnessed. It comes from within, and none of us is precluded from building this attribute.
Reinvent Your Communication
Even if you’re not a specialist in marketing and communication, there is an easy approach you can follow to reinvent your communication e orts. If you follow these six high-impact principles, you’ll be well on your way to driving positive change:
1. Keep it simple. Make your communications dead-simple for anyone who reads it. Ditch the jargon.
2. Make it clear. Expunge vagueness, ambiguity and imprecision, leaving behind a crystal-clear and easy-to-follow communication.
3. Speak to your audience, not yourself. Speak in a language that your audience understands, and realize that they don’t have the same context and point of references that you do.
4. Keep it brief. The lower your word count, the better your message will be understood and retained.
5. Make it memorable. People will remember stories and feelings far more than details and figures. Engage your audience with compelling and unique language, and make sure you’re saying something with enough creativity that people can’t forget it.
6. Activate with action. Start with the end goal in mind, and make sure your communications all lead to the desired outcome. Lead your audience down a deliberate path with a specific action in mind, and make sure that next step is completely apparent.
Learn the Six Rules of Creative Cultures
Creating a culture that empowers creativity at all levels is critical for leaders who have any interest in competing. The challenge for leaders is to provide a philosophical framework that allows people to express their creativity and have the confidence to innovate. Here are the six common threads of cultural brilliance:
1. Fuel passion. Every great invention, breakthrough and advance of humankind began with passion: a passion for change, passion to contribute, passion to discover something new.The bigger and more important your purpose is, the more passion it can create within your team.
2. Hunt and kill assumptions. As organizations and industries progress, assumptions become unwritten rules. Just because something hasn’t been achieved in the past does not forbid it from happening now or in the future. All great advances forge new ground.
3. Never stand still. One of the biggest traps is imagining that success is a permanent condition. Reinvention is not a one-time reboot but a continuous process.
4. Embrace oddball ideas. The creative leaps that ultimately drive the biggest gains often appear incredibly strange at first glance. Instead of shunning wacky ideas, encourage them at every opportunity.
5. Stick it to the man. Disruptive cultures have a healthy sense of irreverence — a chip on their shoulders and a disdain for the old guard. If you’re not creating a sense of disbelief, you’re not dreaming big enough.
6. Fight to win. Competition is a powerful mechanism to rally the team around a common cause and then pursue victory with a vengeance. Challenging your employees to conquer competitors, ditch dogma, and sink the status quo will unleash their best performance and visceral drive to win.
Innovate Your Operation
How did Toyota surpass GM to become the world’s largest car company? How did Dell beat IBM in the computer industry? It wasn’t product innovation, slick advertising or rock-star executives. It was a commitment to operational innovation. Operational innovation, coined by management consultant Michael Hammer, is the concept of completely overhauling the way a company does business in an effort to create a significant competitive advantage. It in essence rewrites the rules of the game.
Here is a quick and practical five step process to kick of your operational innovation efforts:
• Make the case for change. Detail both the opportunity and upside that can be seized through a successful change effort, and articulate the true cost of standing still.
• Set an audacious goal. Challenge yourself and your team to solve bigger problems, and you will uncover bigger innovations.
• Do a friction audit. Carefully examine each step of your processes and the way you do business.Where are the bottlenecks? What steps could be shortened?
• Bypass “who” for “what.” As old ideas are discarded, egos can get bruised. Set the tone from the start that the mission is all about the “what”: Finding a better solution and driving the business forward.
• Borrow ideas from other industries. Disrupting your industry probably won’t require a lightning bolt from above. Instead, look for creative approaches to similar problems in other industries.
You have a decision to make. Proactive reinvention is a route that leads to success in all areas of life if you firmly commit to embracing it. You are the only one who can make that choice. Take personal responsibility for the outcomes you desire, and then proceed with passion and conviction. The destination of fulfillment and success will be well worth the effort. Your potential awaits. Retool. Re-imagine. Rework. Rebuild. Recreate. Reestablish. Relaunch. Rekindle. Renew. Rejoice. –– Reinvent