You’re over 100% sure it will work. The department just needs to dedicate more attention and time, and your manager seems to be a huge supporter. Then nothing ever happens.
To the frustration of many workers, it turns out that bringing ideas to life in a corporate setting is more like solving a jig-saw puzzle. Reasons vary - and business schools have also written at length about this problem. It has become a pressing priority as companies try to emerge from the pandemic-led disruptions to come up with a set of new ideas in response to new challenges.
Turning ideas into action is a delicate process because it involves all sorts of skills, coupled with a strong understanding of the organization’s culture. Simply put, the farther your idea is from the status quo, the more likely the resistance is going to be.
Here are some steps to make your way out of the squared box.
Consider the environment
Take a look at Amazon. They are known for having their top-tier leaders pitch ideas in a narrative-style, six-page memos. This may not be the case at your organization, but even the best ideas can disappear for something as minor as not going through the proper channels or being in the inappropriate format. Are you in a company where managers must approve everything? Is there a space where you can publish freely? What will land better with your target audience: a written document or a formal presentation? Think about what is the best solution to your environment so that your ideas can be heard and considered.
Be certain and use convincing language
Think about it for a second – what is appealing? Presentations. The same goes for the words you use in presenting your ideas out there. Stay away from words like “maybe,” “kind of,” and “probably,”. They show weakness and mirror doubts. Get out there and be certain. Use convincing language to demonstrate you have a firm grasp of the idea.
Identify your support
An idea won’t come to fruition unless you have your boss’s blessing, of course. But it won’t go any further than your boss without the support of others. Finding internal managers, particularly those outside your department, is key to pushing ideas forward. That way you build a fortress of support. Building relationships with people who are like “influencers” will expose your idea and support decision-making.
Get meaningful feedback
Even when managers are enthusiastic and ready to get your idea on board, it can be difficult to get specific feedback on what is required to move to the next step forward. Often this is a result of vague guidelines from managers. Without proper communication and transparency to what should be the next step forward, it’s easy for ideas to get lost. It happens quite often when employees either don’t have the experience nor information necessary to understand what actions are needed to move an idea forward, so it ends up getting lost or unprioritized.
Lay it all out
Regardless of the organisational hierarchy, everyone involved has different motives and objectives, and they each will see your idea through their own perspective. For example, the CFO wants to know about the financials. The general manager is concerned with liability. Marketing people consider how it can be marketed or advertised. You need to get everyone (or most) on-board to avoid your idea getting shot down from the start. Make sure you present your idea in the clearest and simplest way possible so that it works its way up the chain of command. Think of any questions or critical remarks which may crop up, so you anticipate and avoid having to go back to the drawing board. Fine-tune and support your idea with data and metrics at every stage of the process to present facts – remember facts speak louder than words.
Are you ready to showcase your idea? Bring it on with confidence!