Everyone’s got things that they want to share. Whether you’re talking with your business partner or looking to pitch a concept to investors or a senior management team, you absolutely need a process to get people onside with where you’re at. I spend most of my days pitching ideas, developing new ideas or evaluating the ideas that others have. These three steps work for me as a structure. Maybe they’ll work for you too.
First – excite. Talk about where the idea goes, what it changes, how it breaks a deadlock or opens new doors. Prove the problem it solves is real, that the answer is simple and do-able, that the thinking is new and worthy of their time. Put real money round the possibility.
Secondly – de-risk. Tell the quick backstory of the problem (how we got to here), what is happening now because of the problem and what will happen if it’s left unchecked. Explain which parts of the current answers aren’t working. But then talk about how your idea connects with what is already being done and how it will add to what is working already.
Finally – involve. Ask for inputs. I work on the basis that no idea is ever finished or perfect when it’s first aired. Bring people closer. Help them feel that they can make the idea stronger if they will give it just a small amount of their time. Thank them when they do. And keep them in the loop with how what they suggested impacted what happened to the idea over the next while.
None of these steps are difficult. But they don’t get followed enough – and as a result, a lot of ideas, a lot of very good ideas, hit a wall called reluctance. Reluctance to hear. Reluctance to adjust. Reluctance to support.
The stark truth is this. No-one changes anything until it seems worth it. Which actually means it must seem worth more than what they’re comfortable with doing right now.