So you have a great idea for a new product, merger or acquisition or site relocation and you need the board to endorse it… where do you start?
The best starting point is your audience. What do you know about the board members? What is their background? What matters to them – bottom line, environmental sustainability, reputation, brand or customer experience can be few of many.
If you don’t know, don’t panic – all is not lost. There are some generic strategies that you can use to help get their buy-in.
When presenting to key stakeholders who think in high-pressured situations, presenting your information clearly is key to their understanding, making it easier for them to say YES.
Get the job done FAST
In my experience the fail-safe tool is FAST. FAST is a structured approach that helps you cover all of the decision making and communication preferences of your audience – detailing facts, showing previous successes and telling or defining the standards.
If you incorporate at least one element from each of the categories into your communication it builds a compelling case for change. It answers the “prove it” challenge before it’s been posed.
It also makes the sense of urgency more concrete and objective.
· Internal sources
· Competitive Info
· Benchmark data
· Lead by example
· Best Practice site visits
· Dynamic leadership
· High Standards
· Customer or Regulatory
Advice from the Klugo Board – Annaliese Kloe, Director
“Obtaining board approval is often challenging given the competing priorities and time pressures placed on directors and the management team. In order to successfully engage and sell a new idea to the board you need to be completely prepared with a solid business case.
Prior to the board meeting, distribute your business report with your idea to the board members so that they have time to digest the new initiative; boards typically have pre reading to undertake anyway. You will need to clearly articulate the benefits for the business in tangible and intangible ways.
Executive summaries are key with background detail as required. Make the analysis clear and easy to digest and ensure that the financial benefit is well thought out. Seek out some of the board members and ask for feedback and establish buyin and your advocates.
By the time the actual board meeting takes place you should be ready to go. Clearly present your new idea in easy to digest visuals and outline bottom line benefit for the business.”
Remember, the Board will make a decision based on the information you deliver but also the way in which you deliver it – be passionate, authentic and committed and you are well on the road to success.