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Selling Up

Michael Hyatt's blog, Working Smart, offers a great entry exploring how to sell ideas your boss and others above you. Here are the highlights:

  • Meet your boss's needs
  • Pick your battles
  • Do your homework
  • Bullet proof your proposal
  • Make the pitch
  • Accept responsibility for the outcome

What have you learned about proposing projects?

[via bBlog]

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  • Jim Wesnor

    I would also stress, although these items are contained in the points made, the following:

    1. Make sure that the boss is able to support the proposal without spending significant political capital. Every level of management the proposal has to go through is a screen, but not necessarily to weed out "good" proposals from "bad". The screen mechanism is "why supporting this proposal advance my career?". If the boss can't see "yes" here, you're proposal will die on the vine, be shuffled to the bottom of the pile, or get a dooming less-than-enthusiastic endorsement.

    2. Make sure that the costs to do the business can be supported by the company in the existing cost structure. If not, be prepared to argue for JV, partnership, spin-off or any mechanism that will get the new venture outside (physically and financially) of the existing O/H. Nothing is more frustrating than trying to argue for a proposal that needs an different O/H structure within an existing firm. Even if you're successful in getting the different O/H rate the next few years you will be beat over the head for paper losses, which will cause problems with employee motivation and a division with the "regular" business.