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The Action Plan

January 20, 2011

Last week I wrote an article, Getting Buy in for Your Idea that discussed some strategies when seeking approval for an idea.  If you were wondering what now or what steps should I follow? Here is an action plan that will eliminate the guess work:

Identify the Company Culture, Vision and Goals

You must understand your company’s vision and culture. Can your idea contribute to this vision? Be realistic and avoid making assumptions and using vague reasoning to find a connection. If you are unsure of the company’s goals, ask your superiors and coworkers for their input.

Establish a Need

Your superiors must see that what you’re proposing is needed. Also this change must come at a time when the company requires it. If the company is struggling or is undergoing internal restructuring it is probably best not to propose a new idea that requires taking chances. Tread the waters until the company reaches a suitable position to consider changes. By waiting you ensure that your idea has a greater chance of success.

Consult Key Stakeholders

Remember to consult the key stakeholders in an informal setting prior to any formal proposal. Gain their support for your idea. You may also consider asking your boss’s boss or retired employees as they can give your idea added credibility and promise. Be professional and ask your direct supervisor for permission before doing so.

Seal the cracks

Sit down and write out a detailed outline of your idea. Be direct and get to the point. Incorporate any recommendations into your report and explain how and what you can do to address each area of concern. Pay attention to the analyses section. There is no point in providing facts and other statistics if you cannot show how they contribute to your proposal. Explain how each figure supports your goals.

The BIG Day

The presentation is one of the most influential stages of any marketing plan or business proposal. Create that “positive mindset” that Amy Gallo refers to by building your goals on top of those set out by the company. Show the correlation by walking your audience through each stage of the proposal-getting quickly to the costs and benefits and continually referring back to your goals. Your audience must see what you see and realize the potential in your idea.

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