When it comes to life's trajectory, most of us spotlight our wins. But what if we began viewing our growth through the lens of opportunities we consciously sidestepped? 🤔

In our hustle and bustle world, almost everyone has a résumé. It's that trusty document, detailing our proudest moments, like a passport stamping our professional journeys. But, what if there's another side to this story? 

Enter: The Reverse Resume: the goal setting and professional development plan I use to test whether I'm being innovative enough as a professional. 

The Balance of Choices

While a conventional resume lists our achievements, the Reverse Resume is the flip side; this goal setting and professional development plan captures all the opportunities, projects, and endeavors we’ve turned down.

And the driving force behind this concept? Growth.

The Yearly Review

Each year, I pull out my reverse resume, taking a moment to reflect upon the array of opportunities I’ve declined. And here’s the catch: I want this list to be more impressive with each passing year. If the opportunities I'm saying no to are amazing, it’s a clear indicator that the ones I’m saying yes to are of even greater value and alignment to my goals.

By turning down the good, I’m holding out for the great career growth opportunities.

The Strength in Saying "No"

So, the next time you're faced with the difficult decision of declining a good opportunity, don't wince in hesitation or regret. Instead, celebrate that addition to your reverse resume, for it's a testament to your evolving standards and unwavering vision.

The Reverse Resume isn't about reveling in missed chances but celebrating the growth that leads us to make better choices. Remember, as you evolve, so should your boundaries.

Be proud of what you decline, for it is a sign of what truly matters.

Embracing The Reverse Resume Approach

If you're intrigued by this concept, here's how you can start:

  1. Document Opportunities: Begin by jotting down the significant opportunities you decline. These could range from job offers, project collaborations, or even academic pursuits.
  2. Reflect Periodically: Set aside time each year to review your Reverse Resume. Delve into the reasons behind each declination. Were they aligned with your goals? Were they distractions masquerading as opportunities?
  3. Measure Growth: Compare the career growth opportunities you've declined with those you've accepted. Has there been a shift in the quality or alignment of opportunities over the years?
  4. Seek Feedback: Share your Reverse Resume with trusted mentors or peers. Their external perspective might offer insights into your growth trajectory and decision-making process.

Concluding Thoughts

The Reverse Resume serves as the negative space of our lives, highlighting the paths we consciously choose not to tread. This goal setting and professional development plan is a celebration of discernment, alignment, and growth. While the world might laud us for our achievements, let's also take pride in the opportunities we've declined. 

After all, they are the clearest indicators of what truly matters to us.

Have you experienced any reverse resume moments lately? Reflect upon them, for they are the signposts guiding you towards an even more purposeful journey.

That's a very small percentage of organizations that have a purposeful way to say what matters and doesn't matter in their culture. How will new people learn what they should strive for? How will they know what's rewarded? Culture is something we have to reinforce on a continual basis, not just from the top but from every part of the organization! What are you doing to operationalize your values? 

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Let's talk about the importance of milestones in our innovation projects! It's hard to keep our team's engagement and enthusiasm up when they are just expected to come and try their hardest each day with no milestone to celebrate! It's impossible really. It's demoralizing. So what can you do instead? Create small milestones that we can celebrate as a team and use as triggers for reflection and improvement!  What do you think? How important are milestones? 

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Doing innovative work is hard. And a large percentage of the time things might not work out. If you want to keep doing innovative things, it's important to master the skill of properly mourning the failure! Otherwise, we can fall victim to shame, denial, or avoidance. I'd love to share a quick tool I came up with to help me reflect on something that didn't work and use it as a stepping stone to future efforts! Just comment below and let me know you want one, and I'll send it your way! Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #growth #strategy #curiosity #leadership


This is very exciting and scary to share!  Ten years after selling my last company, I think I've got a business idea I'm very interested in starting. But I need your help.  All I want to do is work on logos and marketing materials, but I know better.  I need your advice on what you would do to make sure this was the right business idea to jump into!  I'm asking you to help me run a pre-mortem on my idea! To help me safeguard myself from letting the infatuation I feel impact my decision making. What would you need in place to decide to jump in? What kind of questions would you ask? Thanks in advance for your help!  Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #growth #strategy #curiosity #leadership

You can't manage secrets! Please watch this incredible case study from Alan Mulally, CEO of Ford Motor Co. on how to get people to share their problems so your organization can solve them! Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #growth #strategy #curiosity #leadership

Your performance zone is different than your learning zone. We don't grow and improve when we are performing. We have to put time aside for it to happen.  That's why playing golf or tennis or whatever other sport you love for the last 20 years hasn't really improved your game.  The same is true at work. Just doing your job doesn't improve your skills. You have to put time aside to get into the learning zone and work on something specific! On your calendar, label the time you'll set aside to grow and reflect as "Learning Zone". It doesn't matter how much time you have available to this right now as long as you put it aside and label it! Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #growth #strategy #curiosity #leadership

Mixup's happen. But it didn't have to be this big of an oops. Either your organization waits for a big failure to stop and reflect what could have gone better, or we make these reflections and lessons learned a part of our successful efforts. "Vaccine production is a notoriously fickle science, and errors are often expected to occur and ruin batches. But Emergent’s mistake went undiscovered for days until Johnson & Johnson’s quality control checks uncovered it, according to people familiar with the situation." It's especially important to find ways to work better from our successful projects when everyone feels safer to share! https://lnkd.in/eWiNXH5  Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #growth #strategy #curiosity #leadership

Will you capitalize on your Covid innovations or will things just go back to how they were?  So many organizations have achieved impossible feats over the last year, making fast progress in ways they thought could never happen. 🏋️♂️ And if we don't stop and reflect on what we want to take with us into the new normal, we'll just go back to the slow ways of the past!  My friend, and fellow innovation consultant, Dr. Simone Ahuja, shares some powerful insights into how organizations can capitalize on their agility over the last year. Please check her out!

The thing about blindspots is that you'll never learn what they are until you make space in your life to find out. We all have a list of things we need to work on, but there's an even more important list of things we aren't even aware of that will help us get to our goal FASTER.  This is the origin story of how I discovered the value of understanding our blindspots and what it did for my company!  I'd love to hear an important blindspot you've uncovered! Please share below in the comments!  Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #growth #strategy #curiosity

Do you have a solution in search of a problem?  One easy way to tell is to ask potential customers how much time or effort they've gone to in order to solve this problem! Does this solution work? ---- This is the wrong question!  Is it beautiful?  I mean, look at it! But still cold!  But will customers pay for it?! -------- Ah!! You're close, but that's still not the right question. Have customers already paid for something else to solve this problem that didn't quite work?! ------- Ding! Ding! Ding! That's the ticket!  Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #customerdevelopment #growth #strategy #curiosity https://lnkd.in/eQzqCsF

Customer Interview Tips!  The process you use to find potential customers to interview will give you insights into the sales process later on! If it's difficult to directly get a hold of them now, just to ask some questions, it will be even more difficult to try to sell them something. If you think of your offering as a business model rather than a product, you will be much more open to finding these creative ways to get to your customers! Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #customerdevelopment #growth #strategy #curiosity Improve Customer Service

This is a really important tip about creating psychological safety!  If you are feeling frustrated by something at your work place, I promise you that there is someone on the other side of that issue who is feeling just as frustrated - but with their own story.  You might think you're doing a great job of hiding your disappointment.  You might think that you're doing them a favor by not bringing it up. But you're communication your negative feelings loud and clear. You're just unaware that you are doing it.  Rather than scheduling a meeting to talk about all the things that didn't work for you, could you try to schedule a moment just to hear their side?  There might be a process breakdown, something simple that you can fix together, that might prevent these kinds of issues from repeating!  Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #management #growth #leadership #curiosity

Why do transformation efforts fail 80% of the time?  Because the more innovative the change, the more likely it is to trigger fear in your workplace.  Most change efforts make an assumption that people will come around once they experience the change, or once they see momentum growing, or once they hear the compelling case for its importance. But the cultural roadblocks I talk about in this video are so much more powerful!  Can you believe there are 17 different things we fear at work?!  Innovation and change can't happen without courage.  And we have to fill up the courage tanks of our teams BEFORE we can implement change and disruption efforts!   Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #management #growth #leadership #curiosity

What's an easy way to increase curiosity and innovation in your organization? Bring in curious outsiders! I love this partnership between the Louisville Airport and the University of Louisville to use students and faculty as innovation catalysts! There are 3 reasons these types of partnerships can be powerful: 1. They aren't burdened with "the way we've always done it" and can look at pervasive problems with fresh eyes (example: things like developing runway surfaces with extended lifecycles). 2. They can identify things that "aren't broken" but could be significantly improved (i.e. elevating airport terminal operations and passenger movement efficiency through technology). 3. They can connect with other innovators doing similar work to significantly expedite their learning curve! (Pittsburgh International Airport has a similar relationship with Carnegie Mellon University). What do you think?! What are some other advantages of this partnership? Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #management #growth #leadership #curiosity  https://lnkd.in/e5WaTfT

How do you bring humility and a change of perspective to your boss?  You'll never convince them with your words. You have to create experiences for them to come to the right conclusions on their own...in a SAFE way. Innovation consultant, Barry O'Reilly, does an excellent job of demonstrating how to do this! Think about the right experience you can create vs. the argument you should make! Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #management #growth #leadership #curiosity

If you want to create psychological safety on your team, please watch out for LOADED words!  There are some terms that we use that carry so much weight that they sabotage what we are trying to achieve.  For instance, just saying "get me a draft" to a colleague can trigger a lot of fear.  You might be unaware of their previous boss that expected perfection with each draft, and yelled when they didn't get it. You might be unaware of their self created perfectionist tendencies. So if you want to make your teammate feel SAFE to get you just an idea of what they are thinking to make sure they are on the right track, then try using a NEW word that doesn't carry so much baggage!  Something like: - a prototype - a sketch - a shitty first draft Using terms that aren't loaded will allow you to really define them for your team! Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #management #growth #leadership #curiosity

Is feedback working in your organization? Proper feedback loops are the secret to a innovative and agile culture. In this short video, Sheila Heen offers an amazing tip on how to kick off change efforts to address blindspots and improve feedback. So eternally grateful to Sheila for this amazing conversation. Sheila is a lecturer at Harvard Law School, a New York Times Bestselling author, and CEO at the Triad Consulting Group! Please check her out! And click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights! #InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #management #growth #leadership #curiosity

“This is a safe place!” There is so often a disconnect between these words and our actions. This video really speaks to me because I feel like I’ve been in attendance at this kind of meeting dozens of times. The team leader has the right instincts. They want the right things. But there’s a disconnect between their behavior and their words. What would you do if you were working with such a leader. How could we help increase their self awareness?

Psychological Safety is Annoying! There's just no two ways about it. Don't just think that you'll tell your team you want to hear what they think and it'll be all high fives and group hugs. They are going to challenge you. They are going to criticize your well researched, well thought out proposals. They are going to steal your thunder. But they will make the idea better. They will make the project more successful. They are going to exponentially multiply what you could accomplish with just your ideas alone. Psychological safety is annoying. But building amazing things is so much more fun than being right.  Click 👉 "Follow" for daily #Innovation Insights!

#InnovateWithDiana #InnovateEveryday #management #growth #leadership #curiosity

The biggest lesson I've learned from Steve Jobs is the power of saying no. And not just any no. It's easy to say no to things you don't want to do. The hardest thing to do is say no to the things that interest or excite you but at the same time distract you from focussing on what's most important at the moment. You've done the hard work of setting resolutions or creating a strategic plan for the year. What are you going to stop doing to make those a reality? Comment below and let me know what you're going to say no to to make your big plan come true! #InnovateWithDiana #mindset #leadership #success  #personaldevelopment

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