So after completing my MBA from a top B-School, I am a new joinee to my organization and I have a great idea which can add to the bottom line as well as advertise me to the powers-that-be. However, I am not confident that my boss agrees with me.
First things first. Do I really know that my boss will not agree with me or is it something that I ASS-U-ME (someone said: let me not make an ASS of U and ME)? I need to sound out the office grapevine in terms of my boss’ personality and what makes him tick. Basic stuff: if I make my boss goods good, he will help me. This is not the time to advertise myself, I first need to establish credibility. Therefore I need to give my boss the credit for the idea and hope he will take you along. If not, I go to step 2.
I need to go over my boss and I need to tread carefully.
- I first need to find out who are the influential people (every organisation has an informal org chart based on power and influence) and what makes them tick.
- I need to find out a way to approach him/her in an informal setting. One of the ways to do this is to join a club in the organisation that has the secretaries / the receptionists as a member. Typically the CSR or the cultural clubs are my best bet. This allows me to find out more about my target – his moods, itinerary etc.
- I need to have my 3 point pitch ready – how will the organisation benefit in money terms, how much will it cost and how long will it take. If I have not done my research, I am dead and the secretary will cut you dead subsequently.
- Once I find an opportunity, I need to introduce myself, make my pitch (in one minute) and ask for an opportunity to give a more detailed 15 minute presentation. I will probably be asked to send him a presentation.
- I need to create a brief presentation (3 slides: a. proposal and benefits – what and why; b. implementation and costs – who, when, where, how; c. next steps). The covering slide should have my boss’ name first and my name second.
- I should now go to my boss and tell him that I accidentally met the influencer and had an informal chat and now have this opportunity and want his feedback. When my boss sees his name on the presentation, he will have no choice but to help.
- I then make the presentation with my boss and defer to him all the way.
If I have a go ahead, I need to implement the idea. However, this may take a lot of my time and may impact my immediate deliverables. I need my boss to agree to the change in appraisal KPIs.
There is a possibility that my boss will not like what I have done. There is also a possibility that the influencer may think that I am suited for my boss’ role but I may personally not be ready yet. I need to be ready for these eventualities and the consequences.
Prof. Chandra Kant, is an alumnus of IIM Calcutta and currently, a senior professor at Indus Business Academy, one of the top MBA colleges in Bangalore, India. He teaches, change management, business leadership and Self Management.This author has published 7 articles so far.