The Ultimate Buy-In Statement

23 04 2013

The Eye-Cubed process of Inspiration that leads to Innovation and the ultimate Implementation of your idea is filled with challenges, no one challenge greater than “buy-in”.  Gaining “buy-in” along the way is critical as part of each step.  And communication is key.


Here are the steps.  Eliminating any one can be fatal!

  1. Plant the seeds of your innovation.  In other words, communicate
  2. Find your allies
  3. Take on a small battle to win and prove your case as part of a pilot project
  4. Execute the plan to test your idea
  5. Keep the decision-making team up to date on your progress.  In other words, communicate.
  6. Repeat success with another win
  7. Get commitment to bring the innovation throughout the organization
  8. Develop your plan to execute implementation of innovation
  9. Identify the best people with the necessary skills to succeed with the implementation and bring them in the loop.  In other words, communicate.
  10. Execute your plan

Unfortunately, implementing innovations do not always fit neatly into a 10-step plan.  Sometimes we fumble along the way.  Sometimes, we are still in the learning stage with regard to a key piece of the puzzle.  Sometimes we are faced with challenges that transcend theory.  Sometimes the “greatest” ideas just seem to get stuck along the way.

That very scenario played out with me recently.  I had been spearheading a tremendous innovation project at my company, PFP.   The seeds of the idea had originally germinated about five years ago and it took three years to set the stage for an official “test”.  Two years later and after many successes along the way, the project hit a major crossroad.  In spite of the progress, the innate challenges had become too complex to resolve with the centralized implementation structure that was in place.  I had run out of time and ideas to execute the plan as originally drafted.  We needed a change.  And I could not bring that about on my own.

In a key strategic meeting on the project, I heard sweet music!  I was elated, energized and inspired. The overwhelming message from the team was as follows:

“This project is too important for our future to fail.  We have to find a way to make it work!”

I then saw a tremendous push from our top leaders to engage deeply into the initiative and immediately revive it, develop a renewed plan and begin executing that plan.  This was all the proof I needed to know that the company had 100% buy-in.  The most difficult battle had been won.

There is no doubt that while implementing a great idea, the road to victory and realized potential is riddled with potholes and other hazards that face us during our travels.  Those bumps seem a bit smaller when we traverse them with colleagues willing to work together towards incredible goals.

I am proud of the collaboration.  Put down the visor and put on the sunglasses!  Our future looks bright.




4 responses

23 04 2013
Sean McGinley

Nice article and outline of the implementation strategy. Plus the bumps we deal with along the way. – promise you one thing, it is not the last time that you will be hitting some speed bumps, unless you stop coming up with new ideas.

23 04 2013
James Ahrens

Embracing change and innovative thinking, recognizing the potential, and making the necessary adjustments along the way to achieve goals – we’ve been down this road before. I’ll run the beach, with my shades on.

23 04 2013
Laura Mulligan

Once you plant a great idea, if you nurture it properly it will grow. I saw a quote that really made sense about empowering your team:
“Never tell people how to do things. Tell them what to do and they will surprise you with their ingenuity.” –General George Smith Patton, Jr.
It seems that is what is happening here. Where are my sunglasses?!

17 06 2013
Harold Holmes

There is a Biblical verse that says “Without Vision the People shall Vanish”. Without such innovative thinking the organization and or a company will not survive future challenges. Innovation, new ideals and changes are imperative ingredients for success and Growth. I’ll wear the shades anytime.

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