MPW Insider is an online community where the biggest names in business and beyond answer timely career and leadership questions. Today’s answer for: How do you get buy in for a new idea? is written by Kathy Bloomgarden, CEO of Ruder Finn.
In business, creative ideas are like gold — always in high demand and essential to the fabric of every growing organization. But, new ideas are not always met with overwhelming enthusiasm and it can take time to get team members on board. Sometimes you think that you’re really onto something, but suddenly realize no one is with you on the journey. We have all experienced the excitement of a great idea — only to be met by challenges and disappointment. Here’s how to avoid ideation death:
Start with a basic concept
Selling new ideas is all about getting the right people in the room to collaborate together. It‘s normal to want to perfect your idea to before discussing it with a larger audience. But doing so often makes it hard for the team to feel part of the ideation process. It is better to have the courage to come with a basic outline of an idea, encourage discussion and crystalize the concept only after discussing it with multiple team members. If you want to be sure about execution, let others feel ownership in the creative process as well.
Although it is increasingly clear that we live in an age of disruption and constant change, it’s still easier to continue following norms than implement change. In order to get people to engage in a new creative direction, you need to incite emotional resonance, passion and ambition. When it comes to implementing changes, whether big or small, most people will wonder why it’s necessary to do something new and how it will impact their day-to-day responsibilities. It is important to show that a new creative approach will impact the way we do things in a positive way — increase efficiencies, allow better collaboration, grow the business and expand development opportunities. Communication is key, and highlighting the benefits to your employees is critical to getting everyone on board.
The secret to getting sustained buy in on a new idea is establishing someone to “own” the idea, essentially bringing it to life. It is essential that others have skin in the game and feel invested in the idea, but its equally important to select a high potential employee who is willing to step up and be responsible for making the idea come to fruition.
Read all responses to the MPW Insider question: How do you get buy in for a new idea?
Proof even the best business ideas get ripped apart by Jodi Cerretani, senior director of marketing at MobileDay.
Here’s how to make sure your next ideas meeting isn’t a total fail by Kristin Kaufman, founder and president of Alignment, Inc.
Why managers need to stop sugar-coating the truth by Perry Yeatman, CEO of Perry Yeatman Global Partners.
How this CEO keeps her employees coming back after maternity leave by Gay Gaddis, CEO and founder of T3.
The number one way to motivate employees by Karen Quintos, CMO of Dell.