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Innovation of a CEO


When everyone is focused on innovating the next product, few are even consider ‘innovating’ the brains behind the boardroom…

Traditionally, innovation is reserved for advancing design, brand and product and was rarely considered in the realm of developing internal systems within a business or evolving the culture that drives a business forward.

Fast-forward and Business owners and CEO’s are beginning to see innovation in a new light. Taking the essence of the word and creating value that runs through multiple layers of a business structure. In addition to innovating product and design; large corporations now want to innovate systems, methodologies and cultures.

It’s most likely, however, that Entrepreneurs, Business leaders and CEO’s are unaware that innovation of themselves will be a key driver to turn the engine back ON within the business and accelerate their big vision to new heights.

I ask you to imagine that innovation, and all aspects of your business, could be a game changing play that can revolutionize not only your brand values but also evolve the business culture for long term sustainable growth.

Opportunities within Innovation can in fact start in the upper echelons of the business and funnel down into everything that you Are, Do, Create and Believe?

‘You can change the business and not change the person but by changing the person the business changes too’ – Darren Shirlaw - Founder - CEO Shirlaws International

In any business there is always a leader steering the ship through many cycles and is looked to for vision, guidance, support and direction.

Innovating the brains behind the boardroom; the CEO (aka the BOSS) is the catalyst for innovating the whole business culture, vision, product design and delivery whilst building a foundation to leave a legacy for change.

When speaking to a room full of CEO’s, the topic always turns to growth and evolution of their business. There are always 5 things that we work through to turn the innovation engine ON:

ARE: The way you do anything is the way you do everything

The key to winning your big game is to understand the principle drivers, energy and insight of the CEO, which will rev the engine up for the rest of the company and enable these elements to filter down in to how everything is being created and delivered.

In order to get underneath what drives his/her passion and motivation it is important to understand the vision of the CEO, whilst also identifying key messages to filter through all campaigns and fuel business growth. By keeping the CEO’s messaging on-brand and extracting his/ her knowledge to formulate a method or IP will ignite clients, colleagues and business community’s interest and provide an understanding of both the cultural and commercial offering of the business.

DO: Building foundations, creating spirit, delivering on a purpose

What sits under the true purpose of your big game? When posing this question to a room full of CEO’s there is often… silence. Considering one’s legacy is something that is perhaps alien to some business owners. It can be the catalyst to drive the spirit and culture of the business forward.

The core belief system of the Boss and his/her authentic underlying purpose resonates throughout the spirit of the business, providing insight and guidance when delivering a foundation, new product stream or legacy project. This goes above and beyond the core offering being delivered by the existing business model, thus truly embracing the legacy that both CEO and business owner want to leave as an imprint on the world.

CREATE: (Passion + Purpose)

Awareness of both passion and purpose provides business owners and the rest of the organisation with a deeper understanding of the product stream that businesses can generate. Without passion and purpose businesses look at the model though a one dimensional lens product vision filter. Building your intention for business growth and includes how to generate a stream of income from the product sources that you have not leveraged previously Innovation of an old service based industry or a consumer only business changes the way we look at businesses from both a B2B and B2C perspective and shifts the mindset towards a B2P (Business to Person) model, thus delivering a new integrated product eco system to enable one product stream to refer people on to the next. Leveraging off the core product that you have created you can now build a product vision pyramid (as referred to in Brand Famous P122 & 123) providing your business with a fresh new way of productizing your business.

BELIEVE: From unknown to known – differencing degrees of fame

The power of anonymity is dead in the water! When considering the type of profile you require it is imperative to take note of how many times you find yourself googling somebody you are due to meet or even better someone you have only just heard of to ‘check them out’ before you then get in contact. You do it a lot don’t you? Over 70% of people now Google your profile and search to find the partner / CEO and not the front page of the business!

If people are searching and no one is finding the right information - or worse no one is finding you at all - ask yourself would your potential new client be switched ON or switched OFF? Then consider how many times this could happen in a single day!

Whichever space on the “unknown to known” barometer you are occupying, there are different degrees of recognition available for you to create a larger profile whilst still keeping your privacy intact. Some CEO’s enjoy being seen as the industry leader, speaking on stage to their business community and are clear on the parameter of fame they have chosen to work in, whilst other business owners, avoid a high profile, have not even considered that there are options available to them and when searched are still relatively unknown to any social community circles.

I invite you to consider that your profile does play a role in determining the growth cycle of your business. Whatever level of fame you are happy with, your profile will have an impact on driving traffic, credibility and awareness to the brand that you are seeking to grow

Connect: (Community + Culture) SME’s + sME’s

The final piece of the puzzle is creating powerful authentic content for people to engage with and share. Story telling has never been of more interest with advocates, industry peers and thought leaders being in a position to influence the way we interact and connect with the consumer. Today large brands and businesses recognise the power of a ‘strong culture + community’ and yet to be able to grow organically and excite your community requires believable content and a ‘non sales based’ approach. The power of online and offline campaigns to embrace the relevant people and influence their mindset makes the demand for the services of these influencers ever more heightened. When a product or service goes viral, sells out and hits global reach thanks to these ‘relevant people’ giving it their seal of approval, then consider that this approach is too effective for you not to take notice?

What if you now think about what stage you are at with your business journey and engage with a possibility that it is indeed never too late to embrace change and innovate?

Be in the Now, Live in the Present, Learn from the Heart, Stay Open to Change #LeadingChange

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