Innovators and managers often ask me how can they get their project "green-lighted" or "funded." I advise them to stake their argument on following three points:
- Strategic rationale. Show how is your idea aligned with the business strategy, how would it contribute to specific targets and objectives, and how does it fit in the long picture.
- Opportunity cost. Don't go with fear-mongering (burning platforms, and all those metaphors). Demonstrate why not doing your proposed innovation project would cost company more than doing other things.*
- Emotional language. Don't get hung up on data, numbers, and purely rational arguments. Bring passion to your descriptions, and paint a vivid picture of how your organisation and customer would be changed with your idea.
*Here is a very simplified example. Let's say your management has a budget of 100 units. You are asking for 10 of that. That means that someone will not get those 10. Let's say that your idea has a potential to double that. If they don't give you that 10, and put it into another thing, that might bring back 12, then the opportunity cost would be 8 units (20-12).
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