The Best Way to Pitch New Ideas at Work

Tuesday 03 March 2020
We asked Rebecca Robins CCMI how young professionals can contribute to change at work
Woman smiling at the camera

In order for businesses to be successful they need to provide a high standard of product, goods or services – and change them to meet the demands of their industry. This requires ideas from employees like you. Here’s how to pitch new ideas at work according to Rebecca Robins CCMI, the global chief learning and culture officer at global brand consultancy Interbrand:

1. Lead With Love and Make It Happen

Change and collaboration begins with the culture that we create at work. Help your team to be creative and entrepreneurial by encouraging others to share their ideas. At Interbrand, we hold ourselves accountable by championing behaviours: lead with love; be brave; speak up; and make it happen. Our culture is crucial to an environment where ideas can be voiced, where ideas can collide and be challenged, because these are the very ideas that change the game.

2. Create Opportunities for People to Collaborate

A culture of collaboration and support is a vital step in cultivating a space where ideas can come to life. Be the first to champion someone else in meetings and the voice that stands up for another idea. As part of the Interbrand Academy that I lead, I have just led a global Masterclass programme, which is designed to foster collaboration, co-creation, innovation and inspiration. In the course of three days, 23 individuals from across the globe became one team – and what they made happen together was remarkable.

3. Change How You Pitch Your Ideas

When pitching a new idea, begin by understanding your audience. Think about how people engage, the ways in which they debate and how they give and receive information. How you pitch an idea to someone who is highly visual should look and feel very different to someone who responds to a highly detailed and process-driven approach. It’s a question of ‘framing’, and it works both ways. Senior team members are responsible for fostering an open feedback culture, where every idea can have its ‘day’.

4. Prepare for Questions You Might Be Asked

Know the difference between standing strong and defending your idea, and in being defensive. Look at your idea from different perspectives and ask yourself what you might have missed before you pitch your idea. Listen as much as talking, value the creative process – and trust that great ideas will find a way.

5. Be Aware of Resistance

Change can feel disruptive so it’s important to stay strong and stay true to your ideas but do so with empathy to your audience. Listen as much as you talk. Be open to debate and suggestions – that could be the very pivot to realising your idea. See the CMI webinar: how to have difficult conversations.

Using your role for change is part of being a successful employee at any company. As a CMI member you get access to our useful New Joiner Checklist for fitting in and getting on. Just search ‘new joiner’ in ManagementDirect

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