Curious how to pitch an idea that will get the thumbs up from your supervisor? We’ve got the answers.
So you’ve got a great idea that you’re sure will shoot your organization’s profits through the roof. Maybe you’ve discovered something that will help improve efficiency. Or perhaps you’ve found a solution that will increase employee happiness and boost morale. In any case, you’re excited to share your brilliance with your leadership team and then bask in the glow of their admiration.
But, to quote Lee Corso, “not so fast, my friend.” If you want your idea to get the attention and consideration it deserves, take a step back and do some preparation. The more you think things through on the front end, the better the chance that your idea will be well-received and, ideally, approved.
In this installment of Conversations from the Corner Office, ID Plans CRO Seth Garber walks us through how to pitch an idea to your team leader from start to finish.
This is when you start fleshing out your idea and testing its validity. Really think about your answers from all angles so you’ll be ready for anything your leadership team might throw at you. Here are some of the key questions to consider:
Take your answers from step one and think about the best way to communicate them to your leadership team. Your goal is to show them you’ve done your research, explored every scenario, and determined your idea will support your company’s business objective. This is also a good time to think about how you’ll react to the feedback you might receive from your leadership team (more on that in step five).
Rather than surprising your organization, put together a brief summary of your idea and include it in your meeting request. This is important because it will give attendees the ability to consume the information and will allow them to think about your idea ahead of time. Ideally, it will also eliminate any other distractions so that when you’re doing your presentation, all eyes are on you.
Consider the “personality” of your leadership team. Do they like to have long discussions where everyone contributes? Or do they prefer a shorter “get to the point” approach? Either way, everyone’s time is valuable and showing you respect that can go a long way in how your idea is received. Set up your presentation like you would any meeting and stick to a firm start and end point. Explain why you’re here, go through the four areas identified in step one, highlight how your idea supports the objectives of your organization, and save time for questions. [Related post: Focus groups 101]
Unless you have a crystal ball, you really have no way of predicting whether your idea will be green-lit or not. This is why it’s good to explore as many potential outcomes as you can so you don’t get blindsided or become emotional. If you have time, doing a dry run with a colleague or friend can be helpful. If not, here are the scenarios you’re likely to encounter:
Based on the three responses above, you probably have a little work ahead of you.
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