“I work in a business strategy company that encourages employee contributions on ways to expand the menu of our services. Every month we have a ‘Pizza and Proposal Day’ where staff are encouraged to submit new marketing programs.
“After lunch we listen to colleagues’ presentations; some are well-researched, feasible — others are ill-conceived, damaging the credibility of the employee and their mandate. I have a couple of good ideas, but I don’t want to be silly. Do you know any guides, videos, anything that would help me? Thank you, ‘Don’ ”.
It increases the chances of avoiding wrong steps
Don’s question came at the right time because I had just finished my interview with Ray Sheen, “HBR Guide to Building Your Business Case: Tell a Compelling Story, Identify Stakeholders, Analyze Risk and Return”.
Reading this great numerical approach to making a proposal a reality, it became so clear that Ray understood the mechanisms for reaching and convincing the audience of internal decision-makers to match the idea he had developed. colleague.
Greenville is President of South Carolina Product and Process Innovation. His company provides training and advice in the areas of technology diffusion and digital transformation. He is also an Associate Professor of Business at Southern New Hampshire University. A graduate of the U.S. Air Force Academy of Mechanical Engineering with a MIT in Astronautical Engineering from MIT, Ray Sheen is one of the most interesting people I’ve interviewed this year.
Present your inner idea
I was asked to determine what to avoid in order to have a real chance to accept this new idea or concept.
1. Don’t know your audience. Let’s say they understand what you’re talking about.
Consequences: No matter what part of the business you are dealing with and how your idea is going to make money, those who make the decision will not understand or accept it. So find out who is on the review committee, and the level of education, experience, and responsibility in the area you are discussing.
2. Not knowing the problem of the hot management button.
Conclusions: What is the main strategic initiative they are currently working on? The most popular today are Sustainability, ESG (Social Environmental Governance) and supply chains. If your proposal affects one of these, they will be interested, and if not, they may not.
3. Failure to financially explain the results of the project or not.
Consequences: If they don’t see the negative consequences of wasting and doing nothing, they will take on another project, not yours. Keep in mind that money is always the language of business.
4. Don’t present your proposal as a living story.
Consequences: Only numbers will sleep! An audience wants the speaker to experience the presentation. A good story helps them capture and experiment with the vision of what the opportunity will create.
5. Failure to verify the accuracy and consistency of the information submitted.
Conclusions: If you say on the first page that the project is worth a million dollars, then on page 10, if the figure jumps to $ 5 million, you have just destroyed the confidence that decision makers have in you. So a third party should correct your material because we are blind to our mistakes and other mistakes.
6. When developing handouts, keep them vague so that this person does not go to your presentation so that they do not draw conclusions about the appropriateness of the project.
Remedy: Make sure that your ideas can be followed using written material even without going to the presentation.
7. When there are multiple options, don’t tell your audience which ones you prefer.
Consequences: They will challenge your ability to make decisions. Always remember that when you get into the business of defending your business, your credibility is at stake.
8. Be unprepared for yes or no.
Conclusions: If they say “yes”, are you ready, and can you describe the next step? If you are not ready to “next”, the proposal may be accepted, but it will not be implemented.
If they say no, then at some point, approach someone who makes decisions and ask for their opinion. Be polite. Make it clear that you care about the organization.
They may not trust your numbers or your implementation plans may not have been properly submitted. They may like the idea, but they can’t say yes because they don’t trust the implementation. If you don’t have a well-thought-out plan, you’ll find yourself as a dreamer, not as an author.
9. Don’t anticipate questions.
Consequences: This weakens your confidence in your ability to run a project or implement a solution. You lose face. It can jeopardize your work.
10. Fiber! Create things!
Consequences: You have destroyed your credibility. When CEOs tell you to lie, you will never receive much responsibility. You can’t be trusted.
Dennis Beaver practices law at Bakersfield and welcomes readers’ comments and questions, can be faxed to 661-323-7993, or emailed to [email protected] Also visit dennisbeaver.com.