Picture This . . . You work in a company that has experienced rapid growth in the past eight years but whose systems and processes have not kept pace. From your years of experience, you put forth solid ideas that are justified financially, but senior management doesn’t take your suggestions seriously.
Why are you not being heard? Management acknowledges your proposal but then proceeds to voice the many reasons why they cannot possibly be implemented. Your proposals disappear from management’s radar.You wonder what it is that interferes with their receptivity to efficiencies that could save time and money. Do you give up, try again or find a different approach?
You need to determine what’s yours and what’s theirs. When you begin digging into the why, you need to distinguish between what’s yours and what’s theirs. When you understand why your message isn’t sticking, then you can find approaches that will work.
What’s yours will include such things as your
Credibility level—Although you may be recognized for your hard work, you may not be perceived as a strategic thinker or an influencer.
Communication expertise—The way you say something is more important than what you say. Your listeners take their cues from how you present your ideas and whether or not they connect with you and your content.
Ability to sell the idea before the solution—Are you able to lead and engage them in crossing the bridge between their understanding and embracing your proposed solution?
What’s theirs will include such things as
How decisions are made—Is there a clear decision-making process in place, or is it an informal process that depends on variable factors? What’s the history and ratio of bold to safe decisions, and did the outcomes achieve as intended?
The power players—How do their powers affect what gets done, and will their camps oppose or undermine efforts regarding decisions not made by them?
Ego—How open are decision makers to admitting that they don’t know how to resolve a situation or are not as interested in processes as much as they are in what the competition is doing?
These are only some of the reasons why an idea doesn’t stick. The reasons are as varied as the individuals and company cultures. Narrow your focus on what you are truly dealing with to enable you to break down barriers.
The quicker you identify what’s yours and what’s theirs, the quicker you can change minds and improve the way things get done.
Have you ever presented an idea that didn’t stick?
What was the reason, and how did you overcome it?
Share your thoughts with us under comments.