New ideas, updates, mission changes, re-branding, fresh websites – businesses change daily to keep their name visible, products/services relevant, and customers and employees happy.
The most successful companies are made up of team members who ALL contribute to the cause. Yet change can be hard – and scary. New ideas are often a gamble, and success is not always promised.
So, how can you present an idea to your (co-workers, boss, stakeholders) in a way that will encourage them to give you the go-ahead, and not tell you to “file it away for next year”?
Here are 5 steps to guide your planning and presentation:
Think through your idea first.
Half the battle is planning. What questions and concerns surround your idea? How long will it take to prepare and implement? Be prepared with as many answers as possible, to show you are serious and have put time and strategy into this idea.
Pitch the benefits for your company.
How will this idea improve your company profits, moral, and processes? Will it affect your co-workers and their duties? Will it enhance the visibility of your company name? Will it reach a new audience?
Explain how this idea will make your job easier and will fit into your schedule.
One of the main concerns from upper management is ensuring your ideas will (eventually) be profitable, and won’t take time and attention away from the duties already assigned to your position. Is this idea/process sustainable for future employees who may hold your current position?
Ask smaller groups first.
New ideas can sound scary, ridiculous, even impossible when first pitched. Be strategic in your ask. Is this something that you need your boss’s approval first? Or, if the idea is going to affect your co-workers, maybe they need to be on board before your boss is. Consider pitching your idea to a small group of people, or even 1-to-1, before bringing in the entire company.
Plan far in advance (so you can adjust.)
When you don’t give yourself enough time to plan out an idea, pitch it, edit it, and finally get it approved before it needs to be implemented, it’s likely you’ll need to put it on hold until you can prepare it with the attention it needs. This can be discouraging, and not an efficient use of time. When preparing to pitch a new idea, be sure to save days (weeks, months, even years) to re-adjust and present the best possible version of your idea.
What other ways do you prepare or pitch an idea in your company to get the “green light”?