The Art of Strengths Coaching

I is for Balancing Innovation, Implementation And Impact

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Different people like different ratios of innovation, implementation and impact in their work. Some people like equal ratios. Some like to mainly focus on innovation. Some prefer to focus more on implementation and impact.

Some organisations make a mistake when hiring creative people. They invite them to take the company forward, but then tell them to just become implementers. This squeezes out people’s sense of innovation and impact.

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Looking at your own work, when have you got the right balance between innovation, implementation and impact?

You may have been tackling a particular project, leading a team, working with your favourite customers or whatever. What did you do to get the right balance? What happened as a result?

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe a specific situation in the past when you got the right balance between innovation, implementation and impact. 

Describe the specific things you did to get the right balance. 

Describe the specific benefits – for both you and for other people – that resulted from getting the right balance.

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Some people love the innovation aspect. One engineer said:

“I enjoy designing things that are simple, beautiful and effective. I don’t always need a blank piece of paper.

“Sometimes creative problem solving does the trick. This company is great. It encourages me to use my brain in my work.”

Some people love the implementation. One co-ordinator said:

“I like to get my hands dirty. My strengths lie in making things happen.

“Several times I have introduced processes that have enabled organisations to succeed.”

Some people love to achieve high impact. One business development director said:

“Selling to customers still turns me on. After getting a positive response from a client, I drive away in my car with the music blaring.

“Maybe I will never change. It’s great to get a result.”

Looking to the future, how can you put yourself into situations that play to your strengths and, for you, provide the right balance? One person answered this question in the following way.

“I am a prototype builder. During the past 10 years I have launched several successful pilots in on-line banking, customer service and travel

“I like the design, development and initial delivery, but then I get bored with long-term maintenance. This means I need to continually find new projects.

“My approach is to continually keep in touch with people in my network. I meet them with the idea of listening to their challenges and sharing knowledge they can use to achieve success.

“Frequently this leads to people asking me for further advice or, in some cases, asking me to lead a project. The approach seems to work.”

Let’s return to your own work. Looking to the future, how can you create what for you would be the right balance between innovation, implementation and impact?

It is likely that you may need to be proactive in making this happen, rather than it being granted. If so, what practical things can you do to create such satisfying work?

You may be able to do it in one job or project. Alternatively, you may need to create a portfolio of work that satisfies the different elements.

If you wish, try tackling the exercise on this theme. This invites you to do the following things.

Describe the specific things you can do to create what for you would be the right balance between innovation, implementation and impact.

Describe the specific benefits – both for you and for other people – of getting the right balance.

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