Today, we had our monthly new-business builder practitioner’s meeting. The topic: How to make the case for business building and how to win C-suite for the cause.
Idea 1: Abstract figures and stats can be useful in framing discussions, but relying too heavily on them can alienate senior management. Repeatedly mentioning the shrinking lifespans of companies, or the fact that 50% of European companies prioritize a particular issue, may only go so far. It’s important to strike a balance between ‘strategic discussions’ (as CxOs see the long-term nature of new-business building) and practical action. Do not over-emphasize innovation jargon – it can hinder effective communication as well.
Idea 2: When discussing the ‘North Star’ of the new business, keep in mind that long-term goals need to be balanced with short-term wins. One way to find short-term wins is by using roadmapping techniques. These short-term wins could take many forms, such as securing lighthouse accounts in target markets, developing new products or services, or exploring the feasibility of new technologies.
Idea 3: When looking for allies in driving new business initiatives, it’s worth considering the CFO as a potential partner. While traditionally seen as focused on managing costs and capital expenditures, many CFOs are now open to exploring new investment opportunities and discussing ways to increase the company’s market capitalization.
“I appreciated the honesty of discussions. We can learn much better and faster from peers who have been in the same situation.”
“Building in short-term wins that lead to a North Star is a powerful concept.”
How do you make your long-term ambition digestible for the short-term-driven, process-oriented, risk-averse day-to-day business?