You have a great idea that you passionately believe will have a positive impact on the company that you work for. The thought of “selling” this idea to your boss makes you hesitate though. Not to worry. With a little thought and preparation, you can master both the art and science of making a business case and championing your ideas.
- A company’s management team is usually focused on setting long term and short term goals for the organization. Any new initiatives should help facilitate those goals. Clearly outline specific ways that your idea is in line with the core goals of the company, and will help you and your colleagues reach the objectives that have been outlined for you by your boss.
- Support your idea with solid research and facts. Cold hard numbers regarding financial cost and historical use cases will back up what you are saying, and help your boss make an educated decision.
- Have some alternative options in your back pocket. They may like your idea, but want to implement it in a different way. Are there any other tools or processes out there that would achieve the same result?
- Support your idea with a concrete action plan that includes specific implementation steps.
- Clearly outline any potential impact to customers and internal staff. You need to show that the costs and benefits are proportional.
Know your Audience
- Choose the perfect time for your initial approach. When does your boss’ calendar have a nice gap? Is there a certain time every week when they are going to be more or less receptive? The conversation may be specifically pertinent after a goal setting meeting!
- Many managers have driver type personalities. They want just the facts they need to get things done! Get to the point right away and then back up what you are saying with concrete data.
Doing your homework will ensure that you have plenty of ammunition when answering questions. You will become the subject matter expert, and that will give you the added confidence that is such a vital component of effectively communicating an idea or point of view. Your creativity will be able to shine when you have a solid foundation to stand on. Process helps to refine and focus creative people. That is the science behind the art!