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  • Kay Solanki

7 Tips for Executives and Business Leaders to foster personal innovation


Creating a competitive advantage for yourself as a business leader is essential for your own success & that of your company or business unit. The concept of innovation is a common concept when it comes to talking about business competitive advantage but what about personal innovation? This sits in the realms of personal performance and concept that warrants attention leaders are to achieve peak performance. A concept not alien to elite sports players. Below are some examples of practices to cultivate personal innovation

1. Stay up to date with industry & business news & trends: Keeping abreast of industry trends and new developments is crucial for staying competitive. This can involve reading industry & professional publications, attending conferences, and networking with other professionals in your field. A way to support innovation in your thinking. 2. Develop a strong personal brand: Your personal brand is what sets you apart from other business leaders and influences how people perceive you and your company. Work on building a strong, positive personal brand by consistently showcasing & demonstrating your skills, expertise, and values in an intentional way. 3. Surround yourself with the right external team: Surrounding yourself with a talented, dedicated team is key to creating a competitive advantage. Take the time to find and connect with a number of individuals who complement skills and characteristics you that are not your natural strength and seek to learn and expand your thinking. This team can consist of mentors, advisors, coaches and peers. I call them your own personal board. Each one contributing to something different and unique.


4. Look for ways to disrupt the status quo and introduce new, innovative ways to do what you do, how you do it or for whom you do it. We get stuck in the here and now and the accept the status quo as the way things are meant to work until something comes along and catches us by surprise. Carving time for cultivating fresh perspective can work wonders in disrupting entrenched patterns and practice.


5. Maintain an attitude of continuous learning: This is essential for staying competitive in a rapidly changing business environment. Learning can come from so many avenues and can happen on the go if you are busy. For example listen to a podcast on the go, use a reading app to read your pdf documents to you rather than you reading them, diary in time to digest new information that is not immediately role related. This helps you maintain a future focus. 6. Build strong relationships: Strong relationships with customers, partners, and other industry players can give you a competitive edge.It will help you keep a finger on the pulse from many angles.Work on building and maintaining these relationships by consistently delivering high-quality products or services and going above and beyond to meet the needs of your stakeholders. Don’t forget your internal stakeholders too. 7. Foster a culture of feedback on your performance & practice. This can be formal or informal & come from internal sources like surveys, conversations or externally via a coach. This opens you up to your blind spots.Staying responsive, agile and adaptable to feedback and make micro changes to your behaviour and habits can go some way to help you dial up your own performance. This means being willing to pivot and make changes as needed, and being open to new opportunities and challenges as they arise or even when they are not anticipated.


By implementing the above strategies, you can create competitive advantage for yourself and your business and stay ahead of the game in today’s fast-paced business environment. I have also included some ways I helped clients cultivate personal innovation.


5 Ways I was able to support business leaders with their personal innovation as an Executive Coach

1. Provided a fresh perspective: I was able to provide an outside perspective and help my clients see things from a different angle and question their status quo. Especially helpful when they were in a rut or feeling stuck on how to navigate complex situations. 2. Helped identify and overcome obstacles: I was able to help identify any obstacles that were holding them back whether perceived or real and help them develop strategies for overcoming them. This could involve helping develop new skills or habits, or simply providing an independent voice to support and guidance as they navigated challenges. 3. Encouraged and supported exploration of their personal brand and look at how it was contributing to our detracting from their successes and goal achievement. Explored tactics for working on theirs

4. Provided accountability: Provided accountability and helped keep things on track as they worked towards personal goal achievement & was there as a sounding board when they needed to sound out ideas, options or new concepts. 5. Helped them develop a growth mindset: To encourage new thinking and be receptive to non traditional approaches to improve personal performance and support achievement of goals


Overall, I would say a coach is a valuable resource for helping you foster personal innovation and disruption in your performance, career or business, and provide the support and guidance you need to achieve your goals and see success.





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