Are you an employee of a start-up itching to play more of a leadership role in your company as an intrapreneur? If you are a founder, you can bet that there are a some employees deep in the trenches with an entrepreneurial mindset; they want to develop, manage and lead smaller, revenue-producing projects within the company. Do you make it easy for them to share their ideas? I received this query from a frustrated employee that said it all:
How can I share my ideas for making my company better? I work in the customer service end of things, and I have ideas for speeding up orders and retaining customers. When I have suggested ideas to my bosses in the past, they seemed to agree with me, but nothing ever came of it. How can I get heard?
A Frustrated Intrapreneur
Here are 5 steps that will make it easier for your idea to be heard by the right people:
1) Check with your boss or HR to see if your company has a process or a proposal format for getting ideas to the decision maker. Just throwing out half-baked ideas is a good way for others not to take you seriously, or for your ideas to go nowhere.
2) Does your idea fit with the company’s mission and values? Is there a need for your idea? Have you any data or documented customer feedback regarding the problem you want to solve?
3) Can you explain your idea in a couple different ways (Power Point, graphics, a flow chart, etc) that are concise, simple and easily understood? Perhaps you haven’t been heard before because you speak in generalities, digress or talk beyond the average boss’s attention span of 15 seconds (or less)? If so, see my earlier blog for “Getting to the Point.”
4) What are the costs associated with the development and execution of your idea? How would your idea positively affect the bottom line? Or, if your idea had been implemented earlier, how would it have saved time and money, retained customers, decreased stress, etc?
5) How would your idea affect others in the company? Can you get the buy-in from those who would implement it?
If you address all these points and present them with a good dose of passion, don’t be surprised if you get an invitation to the boardroom!
If you are an intrapreneur wanting more tips for “getting heard,”
contact me at Rebecca@mindfulcommunication.com.