Innovation and creative thinking. People development programmes often include modules on these topics. But even if your organisation proactively encourages people to generate new ideas, what sort of hearing do those ideas get? And how can we, as innovative thinkers, make sure our proposals are properly considered?
Good ideas are worth exploring. But simply having a good idea is not enough. We have a responsibility to present that idea properly if we want it to be considered seriously. And we need to demonstrate that we’ve done our homework too - a half-baked idea isn’t going to impress anyone when your proposal comes under scrutiny.
A time for innovative thinking
Innovative ideas tend to come when you’re least expecting them. You don’t sit down and say to yourself, ‘right, it’s time to have a creative thought’. Your best ideas tend to come when you’re in the shower, out on a walk or in conversation with others. The trick is to be open to ideas when they emerge in your brain - and to have a means of capturing them whilst they are fresh in your mind. Nowadays you can record spoken ideas on your mobile phone, so you don’t even need a pen! Try experimenting with a walking meeting, and you’ll find that your ideas and conversation flows differently from when you’re sitting round a table, so take a recording device with you.
A time for presenting your idea
Timing is the key to getting a good idea accepted. And that means getting the timing right for your organisation as well as for your boss. For example, there’s little point in coming up with an idea for improving sales through intermediaries if your company has just decided to switch to a direct selling model. Similarly, where your boss is concerned, describing your idea just before he or she is about to make an important presentation, isn’t going to work either. You might want to share your idea with some colleagues to get their reaction but again, you’ll get short shrift if they are working frantically to meet a deadline!
It’s easier to say ‘No’
It’s always easier for people to turn down an idea. A straight forward ‘no’ is quick and easy - and it’s much less timing consuming than saying, ‘yes’ or even, ‘tell me more’. Implementing an idea means change and effort; people’s default position is usually to prefer the status quo, so unless they can see a big upside in doing things differently, the idea is most likely to be turned down. Your job is to sell your idea and that means doing the necessary preparation.
Objections are a good sign because it means that the other person is thinking about what you’ve put forward. They are engaging with your idea. Take the opportunity to embrace the objections and show how you’ve already addressed them. Think through the implications of your proposal before you present it and think carefully about how it will appear from the perspective of the people you need to convince. Only when you can clearly demonstrate that the benefits of your idea outweigh the costs and inconvenience of implementation will your idea win support.
Learning how to present your ideas
Innovative ideas and creative thinking may be valuable in themselves, but without proper consideration and acceptance by others they go nowhere. The way we present our ideas is crucial to whether they are embraced.
What To Say When You’ve Had a Great Idea is a short video showing how to prepare your case, how to deal with objections and crucially, how to get your boss to focus on your great new idea.
This video is available for you to see. Please call 01638 723590 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free demo.
About WATCH & GO® videos
WATCH & GO® videos show people how to perform better at work by illustrating practical phrases and key behaviours in just a few minutes. There are around 60 titles, each dealing with a different management topic or ‘tricky’ situation. Learners simply ‘watch’ and ‘go’ to manage everyday situations at work.
Follow us @WatchGoVideos
Email us email@example.com
Video Views is the name of our WATCH & GO® video blog
See the country’s leading video producer in action and discover practical tips for engaging learners with video. Access our latest research and feedback from customers too.
Other Recent Posts
Experts are people with a special, superior skill or knowledge in a particular field. We need them. In all areas of life, and business, experts have a vital role to play. But when it comes to managing someone in your team who knows more than you do, it can be daunting. Whether he or she is a subject matter expert, or simply has much more relevant experience or know-how, managing ‘an expert’ can feel awkward. This short article explores how to get the best from people with greater knowledge or expertise.
‘We’re going through a lot of change at the moment’, is a common refrain. We hear it all the time. The pace of change might be faster nowadays, but organisational change has always been with us. In this short article we explore the problem of change paralysis, the energising potential of change and the importance of understanding how change is perceived.
Ever been asked to cover for a cheating colleague or dubious workplace activity? If the television cameras hadn’t picked up the ball tampering in Steve Smith’s Australian cricket team last month maybe we wouldn’t know about it. But others in the team apparently did. Imagine being in a close-knit team, working together towards an agreed goal, and then being asked by one of your teammates to cheat for them, for the ‘good’ of the team. How would you react?
We all need to be productive. We need to get things done efficiently. And often that means wanting to be left alone to focus on the task in hand. The last thing you need is repeated interruptions. The irrepressible colleague who wants to chat to you presents a tricky problem: how to stop the interruptions without causing offence?
Coaching models aren’t always as effective as you might think. And few managers are natural coaches! How well does your manager coach you? And are you a good coach? This straight-talking video explains the purpose, benefits and practicalities of coaching in under three minutes.