Have you ever felt completely overwhelmed, perhaps incapacitated by change coming into your life?

Sometimes it is a fundamental, truly remarkable change – perhaps, an unfortunate diagnosis in the family, a new competitor in your industry that threatens destruction of your entire business, or the collapse of an entire country.

It could also be a much smaller change – such as a new coworker who kinda drives you crazy or maybe there is a construction on the road towards work which makes the commute more difficult. Whatever you are facing right now, here’s the news: you are not alone.

Change today is happening at an extremely accelerating pace. Never before we have seen such speed and such scale of change. Just as we climb out of one crisis, just as we get back on our feet, just as we reconnect to reality, we are knocked down again. Again, and again, change is coming to our lives. And that’s where the Chief Reinvention Officer comes under the spotlight – to provide every one of us the tools, the knowledge, the resource, and support, all too necessary to enable us to ride the wave of change than rather be crashed from it.

Now, where did the Chief Reinvention Officer appeared in the first place?

As it often happens, this emerging community of reinventors starts with a personal story. I am a recovering academic, and it was in academic circles where my most recent reinvention story begins. Like any addiction, academia never really stops – you keep researching and teaching no matter what career path you take.

I used to be a professor of strategy and change management and I worked for many years in executive education which means working with people who have a lot of experience, real leaders executives who came to study change, strategy, and leadership along with me.

However, one day, one of my students dared me, saying, everything you say here sounds amazing. It’s exciting, it’s new, but here’s the problem, it’s all theory. I have no clue whether everything you share here has been ever tested in real life. So do you dare to come into a real company and walk the talk?

That was the moment when I got hooked, my pride was on the line, and I co-founded a company that is celebrating ten years this summer: a reinvention agency that works with corporations big or small, sometimes with government and individuals, too – helping them reinvent their lives, their businesses, and their realities.

What happened some three years ago was that our company got completely overbooked. We had so much more demand than our capacity that for the past years we had to routinely say “no” to an absolute majority of requests. Clearly, there was a real need for reinvention skills, tools, and support around the world – but how could we provide it to everyone who needs it? What if we started a new media platform – where everyone can get free reinvention insights, share their challenges, and get other reinventors to help out? Welcome to Chief Reinvention Officer!

Imagine a world where reinvention is a habit

Need few more reasons why reinvention is so important? Here’s a thing or two.

What is different about Chief Reinvention Officer method is that we do not use one theory or one tool – it is all about integration. The Chief Reinvention Officer aims to connect the best of strategy, the best of change management, we mix in and sprinkle around a lot of work from innovation, creative leadership, and design thinking. Sometimes we utilize the methods from the start-up or tech world – lean startup, SCRUM, agile approach all have been used in our project. Add it all to the mix!

It is all about integrative, holistic approach to reinvention.

Last but not least, imagine – what if every company in the world had a successful Chief Reinvention Officer and every country in the world introducing a Ministry of Reinvention. What would our world look like if reinvention is a habit? What would your life and career look like?

If you are the kind of person who shares this vision and want to get even better at reinvention, make sure you sign up, became part of this initiative, and take the first request from us – under this blog and video, make sure you post about your challenge, your difficulty, your personal question about facing change successfully.

What is your biggest reinvention challenge?

We will do our best to help respond to your question and support you in your challenge – and invite you to help your fellow reinventors.

Welcome to Chief Reinvention Officer – we are so happy to have you!!

28 Responses to “Chief Reinvention Officer: why this new job (and life!) title is for you”

  1. What is my biggest reinvention challenge? I need to work harder at finding the time. No time means I can’t finish my business plan or grab low hanging fruit. Not sure what the answer is because everyone has busy schedules today and I have a very good busy schedule enjoying life with my kids, volunteering in my men’s ministry, my wife, workout and my full time job keeps my schedule full! I love life, I just wish I had more days in the week!

    Good question!

  2. Patricia Dopazo says:

    As a professional in her 60s, I’m excited (and slightly nervous) about designing my “encore” career. I’m confident that I possess many transferable skills, life experience and a keen sense of curiosity, that would be relevant and of value in any number of fields, and am working on getting up-to-speed with current and fast developing communications platforms. I sometimes worry about encountering closed “age bias” doors.

    • Nadya Zhexembayeva says:

      Daear Patricia, thank you for sharing your personal reinvention challenge and just by the comments on this page, you are obviously not alone in facing it. One thought that came to my mind is: How can we reframe the challenge and reinvent the way mentoring works in our systems today? Why don’t we have more cases of young teams, individuals mentoring the older, more experienced by age? It can be a very fruitfull conversation, but very often we assume it can only be the other way around, the system we are used to. What do you think?

  3. Reinventing ones career after 50
    Reinventing after a financial crisis
    Reinventing the public school system
    Reinventing ones health

    • Nadya Zhexembayeva says:

      Dear Tracy thanks for putting all these reinvention challenges on the discussion. In essence you are talking about the challenge of reinventing yourself and reinventing the world around you. And maybe the first and most important step is reinventin yourself – how to be competitive on the market after 50? You don’t have the same energy and speed for relearning as the younger generations, but maybe trying to sorround yourself with them more, so you learn form them and collaborate on potential new ventures might be a way. Have you ever asked yourself which knowledge and skills are your essence, something to hold on to and which ones you need to let go?

  4. Rebekah says:

    Very inspiring! Would love to work with you.

    • Nadya Zhexembayeva says:

      Thanks Rebekah for the positive feedback! Just by sharing and openning up the conversation about reinvention from where ever you are and what you do is us working together already 🙂

  5. Mark Armamentos says:

    Hello Nadya,
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge and optimistic enthusiasm!!
    Maybe others have this challenge…how to reinvent yourself if you are in your mid 50’s. Two years ago I became a Scrum Master and manage Agile projects. Company eliminated my job. I keep applying to companies but it seems they are reluctant to hire an older person since most scrum and agile teams are younger. Any thoughts? Thank you!!

    • Nadya Zhexembayeva says:

      Dear Mark, thanks for the positive feedback and joining the community with your reinvention challenge. Have you tried partnerhing with the younger teams from various companies as a consultant with experience on the field? I believe our reinvention approach and tools could be a fresh learning that you could apply for yourself and to the companies you want to work with. What do you say?

  6. I would like to help my clients reinvent, and depart from a sense of comfort and entitlement that is likely going to cripple them in the future.

    • Nadya Zhexembayeva says:

      Dear David, great to hear from you. What is your industry and what kind of work you do? Bringning reinvention to the table is a process that takes time and effort from all perspectives. It is difficult to make people understand they have to be changing all the time, becaue they are taught out of it. We will be showing more about how you can do that and give more cases you will be able to use. Just starting the conversation and thinking is important. We will be going more in depth about tools and methodology in our Reinvention Acedemy and our workbook, that will be coming out soon.

  7. Mario Granados says:

    Mi pregunta es la siguiente:

    Cómo vencer la Corrupción?
    Que estrategia filosófica existe contra la Corrupción?

    Cada vez que se gana terreno en contra de la corrupción, se asoma un fenómeno de resentimiento metafísico? No les parece?

    Cuales serían las nociones fundamentales para empezar a combatirla?

    Lamentablemente en México, vivimos un diario devenir de fenómenos, dependemos de una gran nación americana y por si fuera poco, el gobierno no promueve ningún logro auténtico.

    Al contrario, lo diezma, lo liquida, lo esconde… y contra eso, casi nada se puede hacer…

    Un saludo cordial, y gran agradecimiento por sus logros!

    Mario A Granados M

  8. Jim Corcoran says:

    My age is 59. I have been around some part of the automotive culture all my life. Recently I had to close my automotive repair shop because I hadn’t made any money for the past 3 yrs or more. I put most everything I had into it so I have no real cash reserves left.
    The funny thing is that I am really good at a certain segment of automotive service which is electrical and driveability but was too scared to say “no” to other types of work that I’m not efficient at doing, time wise. I can do most anything but not quick enough to make it worthwhile doing but would still take it in because I had to pay overhead. I worked by myself, 6-7 days a week. My job duties included customer service, parts ordering, accts payable and receivables, social media and actually diagnosing/repairing the vehicles that came through the door. It got to the point that I couldn’t afford to hire any help but continued on because I know nothing else. Finally I had no choice but to close the doors. I simply couldn’t pay the overhead needed to continue onwards.
    I’ve always been one of those people that didn’t give up. There is always an answer to any problem. I was always able to make money for those I worked for but wasn’t able to make money when I was working for myself.
    Now that I’m unemployed, I’m virtually incapacitated. I’m so scared of making a mistake that I’m unable to move. When I do anything I’ve always committed to it 110%. As it is I feel I must work until at least 70 in order to have a possibility of not being old and broke. That kinda scares me. I’ve helped many couples keep their vehicles running who were in that situation. Of course, me helping them didn’t help me as I always discounted my work to help them.
    So now what do I do? How do I reinvent myself so that I do not end up old and broke? How do I do that while still being able satisfy my continued need to learn as much as I can, every day. I suppose I am also a bit ADD but who isn’t when talking about those who have a continued urge to learn something new always, not to mention helping others out as you go.
    I am beyond the typical “9-5” worker who works just to cover his family’s cost of living. I’m not sure that I said that right. I suppose what I’m trying to say is, with my background, my experience, there has got to be a way of reinventing myself so that not only do I continue learn/grow and still help others but that while doing this, financially I am successful enough so that my continued thoughts of ending up old and broke vanished. If that part vanished then that would allow me to feel comfortable enough to really get more involved.
    I probably should apologize for my long thought but know that I’m honestly sincere in wanting to know how I reinvent myself. In the meantime, I’m unable to do even the simplest tasks at least 75% of the time. I really must get on a different road.
    Jim Corcoran

    • Nadya Zhexembayeva says:

      Dear Jim, thank you for your story. Once doing something for a very long time, our views and thinking narrows down, although we don’t want it on purpose. We will be posting stories and approaches that will be of help. Stay in touch for our next one coming on how reinvention is not a quick fix.

  9. Roberta says:

    My biggest challenge is getting permant change managers on board. Most companies use consultants or contractors for change . How do we shift this thinking?

    • Nadya Zhexembayeva says:

      Roberta indeed, that is the mindset shift we are working towards and a big reason for creating Chief Reinvention Officer as a title. Our aim is for companies to have a permanent seat in the C-suite for it. And for that the most important shift is to show them reinvention is not a quick fix, but a system change that needs to be build for the long-term, to make sure your company will be competitive. What are the usual answers you get when you propose this?

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  14. Travis says:

    Hello colleagues, its great post about teachingand entirely explained, keep it up all the time.

  15. What I heard on your CRO video “Why it’s for you” I really resonated with having the theory and not the practical application.
    I’m in my 40s and I’ve had to reinvent myself several times due to 3 redundancies and seeing my first wife waste away with cancer.

    I’ve launched my consulting business this year (it was a career goal) and I’m the challenge I’m failing is finding a suitable mentor!

    I love the title Chief Reinvention Officer, amd I feel it fits me better as a business owner than “Principal Consultant” .

    Looking forward to learning (and sharing) with this community of reinventors!!

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