Change can be an uncomfortable concept for many people, especially in corporate settings. Unless a new idea comes as a directive from upper management, most employees are reluctant to embrace change. Unfortunately, this resistance makes it extremely difficult for companies to grow and advance. Maintaining the status quo is typically the least effective way to achieve business goals. Here are some easy steps for gaining buy-in from executive leadership teams to adopt a new idea or program.
Draft An Idea
The first step to effectively gaining buy-in from leadership is to have a working draft of a new idea. This should be easily explainable and clearly articulate the general purpose as well as its potential benefits to the company. Drafting an implementation plan may take some time, but this is the most critical step in getting support from leadership. This draft of the basic idea should be akin to an elevator pitch, something that can be discussed in about one minute and sufficiently pique the listener’s interest.
Engage An Audience
Once an idea or suggestion for change has been generally introduced, it is essential to gain momentum among leadership. Engaging staff and end-users will come later, but the initial stages require finesse to keep new ideas in front of decision-makers. The debut presentation, whether given in an impromptu elevator speech or an elaborate conference room, is only the beginning. The next step is to create rapport with leadership by ensuring they find an idea exciting and useful. Engage executive staff and management in a discussion about a variety of proposed business ideas, instead of singling out only one option. This open dialogue creates interest and promotes an ongoing commitment to sharing ideas, which inevitably leads to change.
Establish An Interest
The final stage of gaining leadership buy-in for a new idea is to establish interest across the company or industry. This may include a full marketing plan via social media, or it may be something as simple as an interoffice memo. Even the most stringent top-down leadership methods still employ a system that incorporates feedback from others. To ensure that an idea is both memorable and ultimately incorporated, it is vital to gain support from the general audience. This is accomplished by creating buzz and establishing prolonged interest.