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Seven Ways to Drive Your Ideas UpwardBeing able to influence upwards allows your ideas to be heard and implemented. This directly enhances your value because you are the owner of that idea. Yet how do you break through the layers of bureaucracy to find advocates for your ideas? Diane McGarry, Xerox’s former Chief Marketing Officer, says, Success at a big company such as Xerox requires an understanding of the many layers of office politics as well as the confidence to put your best ideas forward. You have to know which people you need to get your ideas in front of in order to get those ideas advanced… Here are the seven ways to drive your ideas upward: 1. Know what’s important to your boss. Have a clear picture of what is important for your boss. Keep that as a priority and make sure these priorities are met. It’s not about trying to meet your needs, but thinking about how your ideas are beneficial for your boss. Part of your role is to support your boss for his/her goals. 2. Get other stakeholders on board. To buy into your ideas the right stakeholders must be on board. This might require going upward and across the organization to build coalitions. If your stakeholders believe the ideas you are suggesting are what they want to support and invest in, this can influence a decision in your favor. 3. Articulate a clear and defined agenda. Focus on why your idea is so important and should be considered. This may take a lot of preparation, but in the end your idea will be accepted due to your preparation. 4. Use facts and data. How many dollars will be generated by your idea? How will it reduce costs or improve customer service? Facts like these are how you achieve buy-in to your ideas. Spend time researching and providing information based on data so it will have a greater chance of being accepted.
Is your company’s infrastructure organized in such a way that your employees’ voices are heard? Does your company value collaborative creativity from your workforce, but you have difficulty encouraging and capturing that creative collective? Chances are your communications channels can be improved. Creating the environment where employees can connect and voice opinions is vital to the success of any business. For seven ways to help facilitate the voice of your company, here is an article from Business 2 Community.