You have a brilliant idea. It’s going to transform your business. It will help you get a huge leg up on your competitors and drive tons of money to the bottom line. Heck, if you can get this thing implemented you’ll probably get a big fat bonus and it’ll be a great holiday season at your house.
Here’s the catch – this idea is a little risky. It’s not fully proven in the market. There’s a chance of failure and with it, the loss of any investment the business makes. On balance, the risk-adjusted return from the project is astronomical but you have to get past the most difficult gate of all: the senior decision maker who has to approve the idea.
That’s no mean feat. Realize that many of these decision makers are busy and they might not have the same risk appetite you do. They might have a strong financial interest to NOT take on large risks (e.g., they have a large bonus coming if they hit their numbers this year and the risk of losing the investment you’re seeking would torpedo that bonus).
So how can you move the business forward in a climate where senior management is slow or hesitant to make a decision? Here are three things I’ve found to be extremely helpful in those situations.