How to Get Your Ideas in Front of Your Boss

How do you ensure that your great ideas are not forgotten, but are actually heard and implemented together with your manager? Read on to discover our top 5 tips on how to get your idea implemented.

In the middle of your lunch, it hits you. Surely, it is the most brilliant idea fostered in the past decade! If implemented correctly, it could transform the company and yourself. But wait how do you get your idea implemented?

And first of all, how do you even get your idea through to the company decisions makers?

While businesses and employees alike are under increasing pressure to continuously innovate and renew themselves, the fast-paced and dynamic working environment makes it increasingly harder for us employees to get our new and innovative ideas through to our managers.

So how do you ensure that your great ideas cut through the noise and get through to your crazy busy manager? We have collected 5 tips and tricks for you that you can start using today to get your ideas in front of your boss.

1. Do Your Homework

Be prepared and ensure your idea is well thought through and conceptualized. Don’t waste your chance and your managers time on thinking out loud. If you want to idea implemented, ensure that it is ready for pitching when you take it to your manager. Consider the use-cases i.e. the scenarios in which it would be used. The pros and cons and what the worst-and best-case outcome would be. Lastly, you need to check if this was something that was tried before either internally in your company or by competitors, check what the approach and outcome were.

A little tip: Have a minimum viable business case ready and use it to just your thoughts down as the idea develops in your mind. This means that you are prepared to answer your manager’s questions when you bring it to her and can send her something in a jiffy afterward.

Do your research and prepare your idea thoroughly
Do your research and prepare your idea thoroughly

2. Get Feedback

Before you kick down the walls to your manager’s cubicle, make sure your idea is ready for it. The best way to do this is by running it through one of your good colleagues and ask for their honest opinion and views on how to potentially improve it.

Yes, it’s scary to share your darling idea with your colleagues and yes you might fear that someone else steals it from under your nose (if you are in an environment where idea theft is common then head over here to read about what you can do). On the other hand, another person’s views and thoughts on our initiative is invaluable in maturing and developing it to a stage where it’s ready to be taken to management.

In this is also the need for you to be ready to accept negative feedback. There is no guarantee that your colleague can see the same potential as you. If this is the case, listen carefully to their points and consider if they are on to something. For this reason, try and see if you can run it by a couple of people so you get a more varied and diverse approach to your new initiative no matter what it will help you to get a future idea implemented.

3. Flaunt Your Passion

Be explicit about your passion! This goes for pitching to your colleagues as well as pitching to your manager. Research has shown how angels investing in startups respond positively to passionate founders, citing how the passion of the founder rubs off on the potential investor and hence increases the likeliness of an investment. Chances are you have experienced this effect yourself – when talking to people that are really enthusiastic about a subject, their passion is canalized on to you and all of a sudden you also start feeling weirdly excited about vintage weapons.

In other words, don’t be afraid to let loose and really show how much you believe in its potential and how motivated you are by it. So how do you do that, you might ask…

Well, here are a few general pointers:

  1. Smile as you speak (yes also with your eyes)
  2. Incorporate personal and user-related stories in your pitch
  3. Move around and gesticulate
  4. Keep the tempo upbeat and vary the tone of your voice
passion for innovation
Don’t smile like this

4. Create Relevance

If you want your idea to be truly heard, you need to create relevance for them. How is your idea going to help your boss reach her goals? Align your ideas with the business and the strategy to ensure relevance. Is management focused on cost-cutting or are they looking for new products to bring to the market? Considering and answering these questions before pitching your idea to your boss, will help you determine if the timing is right for your idea of if you should hold on to it a little longer.

Once you’ve determined that the timing is right, you need to settle on how to frame it. Many organizations have their goals and strategy available – check them out and relate your idea to these in very specific terms. It’ll be much easier for you to get your idea implemented if you can show your manager how it fits into the overall goals of your organization.

5. Go Digital

Gathering feedback and scouting for previous similar ideas can be hard, especially if you want feedback from people that might not be on your team. It can be hard to keep track of anyone else in the organization has had the idea before, especially these days where people are more transitory in their roles and companies. A digital tool can help you here.

Ideanote is an idea management platform that enables you to collect, track and implement the ideas of you and your team. The big plus is that your manager can also be part of this platform, making it easier to get your great ideas in front of them. The best part is – you can try it out for free–simply head over here and start ideating.

Get yoour ideas heard with Ideanote

Final Thoughts

Getting your idea heard, or even better getting your idea implemented, is difficult. And if it’s dismissed at first, don’t let it put you down. Go back to the drawing board and see if you can improve it based on some of the feedback. Maybe you need to involve some of your colleagues with other competencies, to take your idea to the next level?

Just to recap, to get your idea heard make sure you:

  1. Do your homework
  2. Get feedback
  3. Flaunt your passion
  4. Create relevance
  5. Go digital

There are no guarantees that this leads to getting your idea implemented but it will sure greatly increase your chances. Lastly, remember to kill your darlings. It’s hard I know. Sometimes, you just need to realize that the idea is maybe just not as good as you thought it was. The important thing here is not to let this discourage you from fostering new ideas and suggesting them to your manager and colleagues – after all, ideas are the source of every innovation.

Not enough? Why not give one of these great reads a visit? 6 Innovative Productivity Hacks (that have nothing to do with meditation), or what about How to Stop your Corporate Innovation from Failing, or 6 Reasons YouNeed an Idea Management Platform.

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