Let’s talk about bringing up new ideas! How do you get people to listen to them, have your voice heard, and get people to take action?
As leaders, we often ask our people for ideas. When bringing something up, a common frustration is feeling like nobody listened, heard you or took action. When that happens, people get discouraged and will no longer bring up ideas. That’s not the right approach.
Whenever you pitch an idea, there are a lot of factors that may or may not get them heard. It’s true for everyone, and it happened to me recently as the President and CEO of Service Express. We’ve been working on something and had a breakthrough; it was great. What’s funny is that I’d been bringing up this idea since early 2023. I hadn’t brought it up every day, but a few times I did, and it never got traction. People heard my ideas as we strategized different solutions, but action wasn’t taken.
Later on, the same idea was brought up in different meetings and got traction. That happens sometimes! I wasn’t offended that it wasn’t my idea and didn’t say anything about how I’d brought it up before. Pitching an idea is like putting together a puzzle. When I’d brought it up before, puzzle pieces were missing. When someone else brought it up later, the pieces had been filled in. With all the pieces, the idea now fit the picture and made sense. It’s all part of the process.
I encourage you, whether you’re in leadership or on the frontlines, to keep bringing up ideas, whether they get acted upon or not. Pitch new ideas, different ideas and even the same ideas until you get a hard no. There are times to be persistent, and there are times to move on. You need to determine when it’s that time.
Be persistent when bringing up ideas. Many factors or pieces to the puzzle will affect how it’s perceived. When the time is right, and it all comes together, the idea takes hold no matter who brings it up. I encourage you to think of this as we continue the new year. We’ve talked about how Overcoming Rejection Is A Superpower and failing forward. Bringing up ideas that don’t get taken right away is a combination of both those things. Keep at it, and I promise you that over time, more ideas will be listened to than not.