How well do you innovate? Do you sometimes feel like a dinosaur in the age of the iPhone? To innovate is to make changes in something established, especially by introducing new methods, ideas, or products. What changes are you making in your personal or professional life?
One extremely important part of my Benatti Resiliency Model is the strategic step: to innovate. For example, I recently met with a new client who is a cancer scientist, and when I asked about recent innovations in his life, he shared information on a molecule he has been focusing on for two years. I listened intently and then asked him for more: “What else are you doing for you or for your career that is new, different, and exciting?”
To help him better understand, I shared my innovate ideas for 2015 with him. My personal challenge is bringing my daily meditation practice back into my life. After attending Bethany College many years ago, I had a great mindfulness practice that I learned from my psychology professor, Gale Thompson. As with many positive habits, life got in the way. I remember the benefits from meditating and am working to get them back into my life.
My professional innovate goal is more ambitious. I plan to write my first book this year. Many of you have suggested to me that I publish the details of my resiliency model, but the magnitude of the undertaking can seem overwhelming.
The key to successful strategic innovation is to first create the vision and then ask yourself why you are considering it. The next question to ask is whether it is personally meaningful to you, so you can make sure it’s worth your time and effort.
I have several very close friends who are teachers and are close to being burned out from their careers, despite their young age. I look at my innovate strategy and realize it could make a huge difference for them. The major stressor they encounter is being forced to innovate around new strategies they do not believe in and could be just the flavor of the month. A key strategy for these folks is to find a personal and professional innovate challenge that is meaningful to them—it will help inspire and recharge them. For example, one of my teacher friends began taking painting classes and found an entirely new energy in this passion. It also gave her a creative interlude to think about making a career change.
Now it’s your turn. What is your personal innovate and professional innovate goal for this year? It could be something you want to bring back into your life, a class you want to sign up for, or a leadership book you want to read. Be sure to let me know what your innovate goal is this year. Did you know that sharing your goal with another person increases the odds by 70% that you will take it to the next step? You cannot afford to get burned out or bored in your career—keep innovating and having fun!
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