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Trying to be too innovative could be holding you back

Alexandria Joy - Sunday, December 23, 2012
While many great organisations thrive in a highly competitive market by creating a culture of innovation, some businesses become too distracted by the bright shiny objects of their inspired visions.  Productivity, execution and the ability follow through on ideas are hindered because all energy is put into building new ideas rather than creating a methodical, strategic plan to manufacture, target, and sell just one. 

Innovation can become the source of competitive advantage for any business. It can help you to raise the bar and rise above your competitors. It can position you as a leader in the industry. On the other hand, a lack of it can inevitably leave you shutting shop because you haven’t progressed your product or service to match changing customer trends, improvements in technology, or a competitive and innovative industry. 

So why do some innovative businesses fail? A talented, innovative entrepreneur has an endless supply of bright ideas and is easily inspired to build on existing concepts. A successful entrepreneur knows when and how to pursue a single innovation, make it a reality, and focus energy on marketing it to the right audiences. 

As business and leadership coach I too often see talented business owners try to implement too many ideas at once, leaving them over worked with little time to offer any of the finished products in the marketplace! I also hear many of these bright minds talk about how they struggle to reach their sales targets or that they find it difficult to come up with a clear marketing strategy. Often, this is because the target market is too broad, the marketing messages are complicated and the business mission is unclear. 

The balancing act to innovation
There is a good saying: “everything in moderation”. Yes you need to innovate, but don’t get distracted by the bright shiny objects! Here are some tips on how to find that balance…

Get laser clarity – It is better to focus on your brightest idea or in your zone of genius, and do the same thing over and over. Stop trying to do 20 things you’re OK at. Instead focus, focus, focus on what makes you unique and what you do best.  

No more bright shiny objects – Yes you need to innovate to stay in and ahead of the pack, but don’t get distracted. Learn how to identify “when” you need to innovate by having a clear strategic plan and sound systems in place to implement it. 

Build a team with the RIGHT mix of people – I won’t go into detail about the risks of hiring a bunch of people who are all thinkers – or even a group of people who have the same skill set. You need the right mix of people that will help you to methodically implement your strategic plan. You need someone that is not like you, but who complements you. Maybe you’re a big thinker with bright ideas? If so, you may need to hire a “doer” – a person who loves to get their hands dirty and get things done or a “strategiser” – a person who loves to create a clear path of stepping stones to achieve an outcome. 

Be consistent – I can’t emphasize this enough: It’s better to do one thing that your brilliant at over and over rather than do a bunch of different things that you’re OK at. You’ll get better results by focusing your mind, energy, products and services as well as your audience and messages. 

In business consistency out pulls genius. 

How to maintain peak performance

Alexandria Joy - Thursday, December 06, 2012

Working hard in your business or career is not the only thing that will help you to build your wealth and achieve your goals. Having healthy, supportive personal habits will help you to reach the stars and unlock your full potential.  

Achieving your career or business goals isn’t just about getting the right qualifications, making the right connections and putting the best systems in place. There are lots of professionals who are brilliant at these things, but they still hit massive road blocks or even reverse back close to where they started. Why? Whether you’re aware of it or not, your personal habits can have a big impact on your ability to work well.

How many glasses of wine do you consume each night? Did you eat a balance of nutrients today? What time did you go to bed last night and what time did you wake this morning? Has your body seen the light of day today or have you been stuck behind a desk? Has your mind been busy with self-doubt and complaints about all the things you lack?

These are some of the more common, unsupportive habits wesee in our clients, but the list is almost endless. 

How you treat your body, what you put in it, and what you focus your thoughts on all contribute to how you perform and feel each day. And one unsupportive habit can lead into a vicious cycle into the next. For example, studies have shown that people who don’t get enough sleep or feel tired often go for high-calorie, high-fat, high-sugar foods. These foods may provide you with an instant boost, but it’s short lasting, causing you to burn out again. Consistent unsupportive thoughts can also leave your mind so busy that you stop focussing on simple self-care. If you’re tired, feeling depressed, feeling hung over, or not feeding your mind with highly nutritious food, how will you ever perform at your peak?

The trick to kicking unsupportive habits

When people are aware of the impacts of an unsupportive habit, they try to STOP doing it. Often, this will result in failure. The trick to kicking habits that don’t support your dream life, is to develop ones that will.

SWAP late nights for more sleep

If you get little sleep each night because time slips away from you and you go to bed after midnight, set your alarm clock. Instead of waking you up, it should remind you it’s time for bed.

SWAP fast food with something fresh

You don’t have to necessarily eat less. Fulfil a craving for unhealthy “grab and go” food such as crisps, with nuts, fresh or dried fruit, or even crackers with healthy toppings. A nutrient-rich diet has proven to boost brain power.

SWAP the booze with natural relaxation methods

Need to unwind at the end of a busy day? Exercise releases “feel good” endorphins in your brain and body. Physical activity will also help you to sleep more deeply. You don’t have to sweat it out to achieve results, try yoga, pilates or going for a stroll outside.

SWAP unhelpful mind chatter with positive thoughts

Trying to STOP thinking about how you’re not good enough or how you lack sleep or money, just makes you think about it more! Swap these thoughts with helpful ones – “I’m going to go sleep at 10pm tonight and not wake up until 6am.” “I have unique strengths in… I will focus on using these strengths today to achieve…”

What helpful habits will you start today to kick some unsupportive ones? 

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