3 Ways Intrapreneurs Can Get Their Ideas Heard
Being an intrapreneur isn’t just about having an innovative idea for your company, it’s also about sharing them with the right people and knowing how to making them come to life. Some organizations encourage their employees to speak up and bring their thoughts forward through ideation-type platforms to ensure they get these transformative suggestions in front of the right people. But not every company makes it easy for employees to put their suggestions forward.
So, what do you do if you have a great concept, but no real platform to help get it to the right people who can help make it happen? Here are e 3 tips for intrapreneurs that may just help move your ideas forward.
Don’t Take No For An Answer
Hearing the word “no” can be very discouraging, especially when you had to step out of your comfort zone to put something forward in the first place. Many may hear “no” to a new concept they presented to one person and feel pessimistic about trying again. But there are numerous reasons why you may be rejected. Perhaps you weren’t talking to the right person, or the person didn’t fully understand the concepts you put forward. Maybe your idea is only half-baked and you need to put a little more thought into it.
Rather than just accepting no as the final answer, try digging deeper. Hearing the word no can be an excellent learning opportunity. Ask the person (or people) why they said no. By learning why they don’t want to move forward, you can learn how to refine your ask or how you approach your next idea. You may learn that you weren’t talking to the right person about that specific plan, and who the right person could be. You may learn that the way you’re explaining your idea doesn’t sound the same to other people as it does in your head, and come up with a new way of explaining it. You may learn that you didn’t think through a certain aspect and that you need to do a little further planning. Just accepting “no” as an answer isn’t going to help you do any of these things and won’t help you to be the intrapreneur you know you are.
Build Tribes Around Your Idea(s)
Getting people excited about and involved is one of the best ways to gain their support. Selectively sharing your innovative idea to one person can be helpful, but getting multiple people onboard can really help to move it forward
First, more people means more feedback and criticism. Hearing from numerous people can help you explore your concepts from angles you may not have discovered on your own. Much like hearing a person’s reason for rejecting an idea, having more perspectives can help refine your plan until it’s at a point where everyone can get on board.
Second, more people being on board can help build excitement for your idea. If multiple people are talking about the same thing, it is bound to spread further than if just one person was talking about it. As well, it can help get that idea in front of the right people. As more people start to hear about your plan and get excited about it, the greater chance you have of moving it forward because someone with the power to make it happen will see how many people think it’s a good idea.
So, when you have an idea, talk to people about it. The more people that know about it the greater chance you of having people get behind you.
Find A Champion
In some organizations it can be difficult for employees at all levels to take their innovative concepts to the top executives. One of the great things about building a tribe around your idea is that you may get someone on your side that can. Just like getting more people onboard with your plan can help, getting the right people onboard can also be a game changer for you. Finding someone who can get in front of the right audience can help to make your idea a reality. Sometimes this person is your direct manager, but it can also be other executives, or simply someone that knows how to talk to people in the right way.
The most important part of finding a champion, is finding one that can help you in the right ways. Sometimes it will be talking to people on your behalf. Other times, it may be helping get you in front of people you may not regularly have access to. Sometimes it can also just be for moral support and backing along every step of your intrapreneurial journey.
Now that you are armed with some knowledge on how to get your ideas in front of the right people, go out there and make those ideas happen!
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As well, we’re always looking for more intrapreneurs to feature in the journal. If you know one, please nominate them here.