At any work place there is always this issue that any employee faces that is his or her ideas doesn’t have much value and are many times not considered by the boss… why?

The question that arises is what am I doing or presenting that is not considered of value? First and foremost one must realize that every decision is made by the person who has the power to make the decision, who may not always be the “smartest” in the company. One has to quickly realize that when ones ideas are implemented there is a positive contribution and if not you will have a lesser impact.

When giving ideas there are some fundamental things one must consider in my view:

Salesperson: look at yourself as a salesperson and you are out there to sell your ideas. A buyer will only indulge if he or she sees value in what you are trying to sell. You have to sell not necessarily a customer has to buy.  As an external salesperson you are expected to be more informative in your presentation.

The bigger picture: Are your ideas just about your unit or do you portray a bigger picture of what is good for the company overall.  Focus on contribution to the larger good — not just the achievement of your objectives. In many companies managers are compartmentalized into various departments and there is a lack of strategic thinking. The use of correct IT tools can reduce the effort put in mundane office work freeing time for every manager to focus of planning the way forward for the greater good of the company.

Positive attitude: Many employees spend endless hours on blaming the management on all that has gone wrong and how they are doomed to fail unless it goes their way. This is the first step to not achieving any goals you may have in mind. Take responsibility of your ideas needing more research or not in tandem with the company objectives. It is very crucial to understand the company vision and mission. No one is impressed with salespeople who blame their customers for not buying their products.

Cost benefits: Every boss wants to see a well researched idea and what it will cost to implement. In every organization there is limited time, energy and resources available and the best idea which utilizes all three is what is normally chosen. The implementation of your idea is at the cost of another idea who some else believes is also the best idea. Every idea has taken time to come forth, therefore be ready to discuss to the pros and cons of your idea. Well researched ideas that look at the overall company gains are most readily accepted.

Win/Win personality: in many modern day companies with a large workforce people tend to be selfish, unwilling to cooperate, resist authority and are very defensive in their communication.  As manager you must understand just like your ideas they have to be for the overall good of the company in order to get cooperation and implementation. Unhealthy competition, lack of education and when in many companies in Kenya it is not what you know but who you know that matters. To stand above the crowd one must be more like an eagle. When it starts to rain most birds look for shelter the eagle is the only bird that starts flying above the cloud.

Set goals: understand what is to be achieved in every project, idea or meeting. Begin with the end in mind. Have an image or a particular picture or a shift of mindset that you want to achieve. List down what really matters and use this as guidance to what you want to accomplish. Keep this list as a self check to what is the most important and use it to guide you every day.

Shafiq Taibjee

Customer Service Consultant

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