One episode featured an obnoxious office worker who flooded the company suggestion box with all sorts of ideas. Finally, he’s called into the CEO’s office. Thinking he’s at last going to be rewarded for his many ideas (some of which involve making hot dogs flat so they can be used in hamburger buns and installing inflatable rubber rafts directly into a soldier’s back pack so the don’t have to find a bridge to cross the river), he excitedly marches in. When the CEO tells him the company’s only product is women’s foundation garments, he responds by telling the CEO it’s time to expand…to think about the future. He’s summarily fired.

I’m sure all of us daydream of things we can do to make our jobs better or our lives more efficient. We measure these against our current frustrations. When they don’t get approved or accepted, we angrily give up. Then we pout and tell ourselves that we will never again try to be creative. We’ll just do what we’re told.

Pretty lame if you ask me! Your key to getting your idea considered and maybe even implemented is to communicate it through the framework of the Common Vision.

Everyone and every company has one or two MAIN THINGS they focus on. If a new idea or suggestion aligns with those, they’re consider it. If it doesn’t, it will be ignored. A company that produces women’s foundation garments isn’t considering the hotdog or hamburger bun dilemma. It’s a good idea, just not relevant to the current environment.

To get your ideas taken seriously, consider the following steps:

  1. Create the idea or suggestion.
  2. Ask yourself who will benefit from it.
  3. Identify the decision-maker.
  4. Figure out what’s important to the decision-maker.
  5. If the idea seems to align, package it using that person’s language (Logical Persuasion or Impact).
  6. Present your packaged ideas answering the questions you’ll be asked (cost, impact, scalability, sustainability, acceptance, etc.)

If your idea at least fits the common vision, you’ll get an audience. No guarantee on acceptance. If it doesn’t, you’ll be ignored. And frustrated.

Don’t let this happen to you. You were given a creative mind with creative ideas for a reason. Keep the ideas coming and just learn to sell them the right way. Who knows what big breakthrough you might be entertaining in the back of your mind right now!