The Art of Re-Invention….By Debra Dixon

Honda did it. Texas Instruments did it. Most companies today do it. A lot of individuals who have been outsourced, laid off, and fired have definitely had to do it. Even Madonna did it. All have mastered the art of reinvention.

How many of you have had to re-invent yourself and how you do business? Or change fields all together? I know I’ve had to do this myself. Although my Degree is in Journalism and English, I’ve worked in the Technology field for over 18 years. At a cross roads about 5 years ago because I wanted to pursue more creative pursuits, I started my PR and Marketing firm, Light of Gold PR. Luckily my desire for this change happened just around the same time the Technology Market started to change. When I started my firm, I thought I had to choose between PR (and everything that goes with it!) and Technology. Over the past year or 2, I realized that I didn’t have to choose. Instead I found a way for PR and some parts of my Technology background to peacefully co-exist. Not only that, I had to re-invent my whole corporate identity, how I created partnerships, how I viewed networking, and look at doing business in other cities and in other countries.

People reinvent themselves for different reasons. Perhaps your priorities have changed or you’re no longer satisfied with the field you’ve worked in for years. For entrepreneurs, because of changes in our global economy and the technology revolution has caused an evolution in how you do business.

Look at Texas Instruments, for instance. According to Damon Darlin in a New York Times Article (July 9, 2006) a company that many investors had written off re-invented themselves by “abandoning ill-fitting product lines, focusing more on its core integrated circuits business and linking up with large, but underestimated companies to champion new uses for its chips.”

Texas Instruments partnered with Nokia to use their digital signal processor for Nokia’s cell phones, and with Samsung to use their digital light processor for Samsung’s high definition televisions. David Carey, chief executive officer of Portelligent calls this “focused diversity” an Austin, Texas firm that analyzes consumer electronic components. “Pretty much one basket, but a lot of different eggs.”

Here are 5 tips to help in your own re- invention:

Re-invent competition – Compete with yourself first and foremost. Try to stretch, grow, and learn as much as you can. Sometimes we compete against our former selves. And remember that your competition may not always be your “competitor”. I don’t know how many times I’ve told my students in my PR and Marketing Workshops, clients, and colleagues that who you perceive as your competition may not always be your “competitor”. You can partner and work on projects and even get referral business from your “competitor” in your industry.

Re-Invent partnerships and strategic alliances – I’ve partnered with companies in the same industry and have received referrals from them when they get too busy. I’ve hired them when I got overloaded. I’ve been a subcontractor of a “competitor” and I’ve subbed out work myself to a competitor.

Re-Invent what are assets and currency – Sometimes intangibles such as intellectual capital, resources, colleagues, employees, and partners can’t be assessed monetarily. You can’t put a price tag on a good database that has people with wonderful talents, resources, and abilities AND a great knowledge base. This creates an invaluable team for you.

Re-invent your own attitudes about work – In today’s busy world, it’s no longer about just working 9 – 5 and believe it or not if you are working on a job, you can still create business partners within your own company and globally in different departments and in other organizations by networking.

Re-Invent networking by creating global relationships that cross industries and cultures. All you need is a PC, a cell phone, and an Internet connection. And the world has just opened up to you. I learned this when I participated in the Crossing Bridges Women’s Conference in Nuremberg, Germany. I consulted with the planning committee on this conference for a year. All via e-mail and monthly conference calls, which culminated in me actually teaching a PR workshop in Germany. As a result of technology, the world has gotten smaller and the opportunities have increased. To re-invent yourself, you just have to challenge your own view of how YOU do business, go about accomplishing your goals, or network.

Remember the reinvention really starts with you.

Here’s to Walking into your own greatness!

Carpe Diem! Peace and Blessings!

Debra Dixon

Light of Gold PR and Marketing LLC

Reposted on July 12, 2008


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