Agnieszka Janeczek, Founder and CEO of Renovos, shares her coaching experience as part of the Women in Innovation Programme
"Coaching helped me to be thoughtful and intentional in my approach and to implement my strategic vision for Renovos more effectively."
When I applied for the executive coaching support to accelerate my business growth, my challenges were more leadership and business performance-focused. Renovos is revolutionising care for orthopaedic patients by developing RENOVITE®, a novel nanoclay gel biomaterial, that can ultimately offer safer and more economic regenerative clinical solutions in a growing $5.7bn market.
Leading this innovative biomedical company means I need to be extremely resilient and adaptive. Then my son was born prematurely and so combining both work and personal life effectively became a key challenge. The added complication of a global pandemic was an additional factor none of us had foreseen.
The road to leadership for women is rarely direct, and managing a professional and personal life adds a whole new dimension. When faced with obstacles and challenges, we have to constantly recalculate the next move. The sessions with Nic Willcocks helped me gain clarity and focus when reassessing my next steps as CEO at work and at home.
Coaching helped me to be thoughtful and intentional in my approach and to implement my strategic vision for Renovos more effectively. It provided an extra sounding board, which I believe every entrepreneur needs, and helped align my ambitions with a roadmap.
Eight months down the line, I have an energetic little boy, secured a government grant for the business, I’m growing my team and Renovos, and starting a series A funding round.
How coaching can help
As a startup founder, you need to have a lot of resilience, but focusing on personal growth to enable extra resilience became more important. As Renovos transitions into a growth stage, making myself stronger makes my company even more so as well. Through the coaching sessions, I have increased my awareness and understanding – of others, of myself and my strengths. This has positively impacted my team and the way we work together.
I have greater clarity and focus about the things that matter to me and my business, which has increased my performance and productivity and supports me to develop the team so we can deliver the vision for Renovos: to realise the full potential of RENOVITE® nanoclays for regenerative medicine.
Working in an environment that is constantly changing/evolving, I do believe I am someone who is open to new thinking and behaviours. However, I must admit that finding the extra time to think and reflect was not easy for me, so having some structure to it in the form of reflection sheets, and additional resources to help with this, in a form of books, worked well and helped me go through that.
Reflections on the process
My key insight was that if we allow ourselves the time to step back, reflect, and simply think and talk things through in a structured/guided way, we can often find the answers to our questions or solutions to our problems within us. And that is a significant difference when comparing an executive coach to a business advisor: Nic did not make recommendations, instead, she asked clarifying questions which helped me figure things out myself.
I have discovered it is important to make good use of both a coach and advisors in my leadership journey. I appreciated Nic’s relaxed yet direct style and coaching has set me on a track to grow into the best version of myself and confidently lead Renovos onto its next, exciting phase of commercializing the next generation of regenerative medicines.
Due to the success of the pilot programme, the coaching team have agreed to an ongoing special coaching package of 33% off their normal rates for a limited number of women within the Women in Innovation community.