Just about everybody has a great idea at one time or another, and just about everybody who has had a great idea has watched helplessly as it was unceremoniously dismissed.
Writing in the journal “Associations Now,” Mary K. Logan, CEO of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation, offers advice for employees who want to pitch a great idea to a CEO. Logan suggests:
- The more complex the idea, the more important it is to think it through completely before taking it to the CEO. Speaking as a CEO, Logan says that executives need fully synthesized data points rather than obligations to brainstorm.
- Analyze the organizational implications of implementing your idea. It might seem simple from your seat, but a CEO has to take a large-picture view that can affect perception.
- Politics can kill the very best ideas. CEOs have to pick and choose the situations in which they spend their political capital. If it happens, learn from the experience and move on.
- Keep trying. If a CEO doesn’t respond enthusiastically to your idea, it could be because of time pressures, thorny issues or lack of clarity on your part. Circumstances change. Don’t give up hope.
- Have patience and persistence. Ideas are crucial for innovation and progress. You can get points for effort, enthusiasm and effort.