Having a great idea at work can be exciting. Getting your idea shot down because you didn’t present it properly can be demoralizing. If only you would have said “this,” or been prepared to answer “that.” Having an idea is only the beginning, getting it implemented is more of a challenge. Here are 7 steps that will help you.
1. You are your own company
Think of yourself as your own company. How would you pitch your idea to potential investors? What would make them want to be a part of your idea? This is the mindset you should have before taking it to your boss. Think about how your idea will do one of two things; help the company become more profitable or help the company become more efficient. It doesn’t have to be on a grand scale, but your idea should fall into one of those two categories to stand a chance of being viewed favorably.
2. Know the hot buttons
Know your bosses hot buttons. Know what is important to him. He has people to report to, so any new idea needs to be angled as a solution to one of his main concerns. You may love your idea, but if your boss doesn’t see how it connects to what is important to him then you will be fighting a tough battle to get approval.
3. It’s not about your needs
Just because you want a new Mac doesn’t mean the company is going to switch from PC’s. Your idea needs to be about the betterment of the company and must avoid all perceptions that it is self-serving.
4. Roll out
Take some time to document how you see a roll out happening. You don’t have to be perfect with this one but demonstrate that you have thought things through and your boss will view your idea, and you, more favorably.
5. What does success look like
Your boss is going to want to know the end result of implementing your idea. What will success look like? See if you can find other instances of similar ideas at other companies. The more supporting data you have, the better your chances.
6. Answer all the “no’s” beforehand
You should know your boss well enough to anticipate his/her questions when you present your idea. Try to anticipate all the reasons that will come up against your idea and formulate answers ahead of time.
Cost is always an issue. Your boss most likely has a budget and fitting your idea into the budget may be challenging. Make sure you have researched all of the associated costs of implementing your idea. Being able to prove that the Return on Investment (ROI) will be worth the initial expense is another key to success.
8. Accept responsibility
Make it clear that you want to accept all of the responsibility of implementing your idea, good and bad. This takes some of the burden, although not all of it, off of your boss’ shoulders making a “yes” more likely.
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