Have you ever shot down a good idea at work?
Most of us have been through it at least once. The reasons can vary, but the result is the same. You feel frustrated or angry – even depressed. Why can’t your boss / colleagues see a great idea?
Your frustration can make you think about quitting your current job and finding another company that will appreciate your innovative thoughts.
But here’s the problem: if you don’t learn to present your ideas better, chances are the same thing will happen over and over again, no matter where you work.
Here are some ways to deal with the barriers that stand in the way of your great ideas:
1. Change or die. The coronavirus has shown that companies that don’t innovate continuously are lagging behind. Large retailers that didn’t switch to e-commerce years ago have suffered from their business, while retailers like Wayfair, WalMart and Target have thrived. If anyone asks why there is a need to change a course that has worked in the past, just refer to such examples.
2. Innovation makes companies grow. If your idea is scrapped because it isn’t generating a lot of sales, point out that new ideas – like those from Amazon and Apple – are building great organizations and generating more sales.
3. It solves a problem. While others may think your idea is “trivial”, point out that it is not “trivial” to the people it helps.
4. It’s a first step. If someone says that your idea isn’t “big enough,” comment that this is a step in the right direction and is leading the company to move on to that bigger idea.
5. It’s unique. Sometimes your idea gets shot down because it’s not made anywhere else. Remember to emphasize that there is a first time for everything and your idea presents a unique opportunity.
6. Failure leads to success. It’s a common tactic to shoot down your idea by saying it has been made before – whether it’s true or not. Just say, “That was then. Conditions are changing, and what we’re talking about probably wasn’t done that way.”
7. Delay, delay, delay. You may be told that this is not the “right” time for your idea and it should be postponed until something else happens or changes. Don’t be fooled by the person who is pretending to like your idea, just trying to suppress it. Say something like, “The best time is when people are excited and determined to make a difference. This time is now.”
8. It’s too much work. This is a real problem because most of the people in the workplace today are really overworked and underpaid. To combat this argument, respond with “Difficulty can be good. New, viable ideas can stimulate and motivate us.”
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