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By Jaidyn Crookston | September 13, 2022 | 11 Minute Read

The 6 Steps to Building Support for Your New Idea

Building support for your new idea

If you’ve ever had a brilliant idea at work before, you know that gathering support for it can be hard. Not everyone is going to love your idea, and even those who do may be hesitant to throw their support behind you. But if you want your idea to become a reality, it’s crucial to win their support and get your colleagues on board. 


But short of going around the building on your knees begging for support, you may not know how to approach this task. It’s scary to ask someone to support your idea! What if they don’t like it? What if they tell you it won’t work? What if they blow holes in it and you’re left with nothing to stand on?


All valid concerns. The truth is that unless you really believe in your idea and want it to succeed, you’re likely to stop gathering support before you even start. Don’t let this be you! 


Here are some principles you should follow when gathering support for your new idea. (Don’t worry, none of them involve begging on your knees.) 


1. Practice your pitch


You know when you ask someone to expand on an idea and they don’t know what to say? They hem and haw and start going on tangents until you walk away even more confused than before. Chances are their idea is going to die before it goes any further. You don’t want this to happen to your new idea. 


You need to prepare a concise statement that does three things:


  • Explains your idea

  • Shows why it’s important

  • Shows who it will benefit


This is your pitch. For example, your pitch might sound something like this: “I want to change the way we review and approve our bank’s marketing materials. Right now we use email and paper to review materials, but this is so time-consuming. I found this super cool software that keeps all of our materials in one place and makes it SO easy for our compliance team to review and approve everything. If we implement this software, our team can stop butting heads with the compliance team and will never have to remind them to approve something again.”


See? Your pitch is just a few sentences long that explains what your idea is (implement new marketing approval software), why it’s important (because the compliance team is tired of us reminding them to approve materials), and who it will benefit (the entire marketing and compliance teams). Now everyone you talk to will have a clear picture in their head of what exactly you’re trying to do.


So write your pitch, memorize it, and start talking to people! 


(And if this example was intriguing, check out Kadince, because we really do improve the relationship between the marketing and compliance departments!) 



2. Start small and work your way up


When you have an idea, gathering support from the CEO shouldn’t be your first stop. Instead, focus on wining support throughout your own department or team. These are the people most likely to support you and your idea, since they should be able to see how beneficial your idea will be to the institution (assuming your idea focuses on solving a problem your department faces). 


Once you’ve gathered support from your close colleagues, it’s time to work your way up. This may mean going to other departments that will be affected should your idea take hold or going to your department head or leader. 


You can bring your idea up in already scheduled meetings or you can schedule a meeting specifically meant to discuss your idea. The best way to spread the word and gather support is to talk about your idea all the time and get others in your institution to talk about it too. These people are what marketer Seth Godin calls “sneezers.” Sneezers spread your idea around and get more and more people on board. That’s what you want to happen to your idea. While Seth was talking about marketing a product to the masses, the same principle applies when trying to spread your idea around the workplace. 


3. Ask your colleagues for input


You may have an awesome idea, but that doesn’t mean it’s perfect. When gathering support, make sure to ask if your colleagues have any input for how to make your idea better. Not only will this show that you’re open to feedback, but it will help your colleagues feel a sense of purpose and camaraderie for this idea. Once someone has helped brainstorm ideas, they’re more invested and will want to see that idea come to fruition. And that means they’re more likely to support you going forward!


Not everyone is going to support or even like your idea. If you ask someone for their input and everything they say is negative, don’t be offended or throw in the towel. While you shouldn’t necessarily take this negative input to heart, your colleague may have some good points! Pay attention to what this person is saying and determine whether or not their point is valid. If you notice a pattern between what various colleagues are saying, definitely address this issue. As you do so, your idea will improve and you may be able to bring it to your colleague’s attention again and win their support this time around. 


4. Show how it benefits them and your institution 


Showing how your idea will benefit those in your institution is a crucial part of winning your colleagues’ support. People don’t care about things that don’t affect them. And they likely won’t care about your idea unless it helps them in some way. 


The good news here is that this means you should focus on gathering support from those who will be positively impacted by your idea. Eventually, you may have to bring your idea to those in your institution who don’t care or won’t be affected, but for now, focus on those who should be excited about this change. 


Say you’re the CRA Officer and you want to require each member of your lending team to report five potential community development loans each quarter. This is a great idea in theory, since it will save you hours of mining for these loans (especially if you’re part of a small CRA team). But unless you share how this will benefit your lending team, you probably won’t get much support. Instead of telling them how much it will help you, show them how reporting these loans will help your institution score well on the CRA exam and in turn make their jobs easier. 


5. Present your plan to the Board of Directors or other leaders


Once you’ve gathered some solid support throughout your institution, it’s time to bring your idea to the board of directors, CEO, or other senior management. You don’t want to do this at the beginning of your idea because chances are you’re going to be asked a lot of questions. The more time you’ve spent with your idea and the more people you’ve asked for input, the more solid your idea’s foundation will be. And when your board sees that other people in the institution already support your idea, that adds some serious points in your favor. 


When you bring your idea to the board, you need to nail your presentation. That means going in with a solid plan, doing all the research you can think of beforehand, showing any relevant data, and anticipating questions you may be asked. In short, you need to be prepared. 


Presenting your idea to the board of directors is a big step. If they don’t like your idea or see too many holes in it, your idea will sink and will likely never be completed. That’s why you should present your plan to the board only after receiving lots of feedback and gathering support from your colleagues. 


Just because this is a big step in bringing your plan to fruition doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it. Create a powerpoint (although go light on the cheesy animations), get your board excited about the idea, show them how your plan will help them and the institution, and above all, be kind to yourself, especially if your presentation doesn’t go according to plan. 



6. Don’t give up


You could have the best idea in the world, and it might still take months to implement. The truth is that gathering support for a new idea takes time. 


Sometimes it will feel like your idea is going nowhere. Like nobody cares about it and you should just give up now. But if you truly believe in your idea and know that it will help your institution, don’t give up! Sometimes all you need to do is brainstorm a bit, flesh out your idea, and start winning your colleagues’ support again. 


This can be challenging, but everything worth doing is worth doing right, right? So prepare your pitch, gather support among your own department, take your idea to other departments throughout the bank or credit union, show each person how your idea will positively impact their jobs, present your idea to the board of directors, and get your plan implemented. You got this! 


How Kadince can help you gather support 


Remember when we said that you should present data to your board of directors and other colleagues? This is definitely a good idea, but most people presenting data do it poorly. Instead of boring, dry, kill-your-idea-before-it-begins charts and graphs, it’s much better to present this data in a fun, dynamic way that catches your audience’s attention. 


If you use Kadince to track your financial institution’s community involvement data, CRA data, marketing compliance approvals, or feedback, presenting data is fun and easy. 


With Kadince, you can build widgets and reports that are eye-catching and easy to understand. And these reports and widgets automatically update when more data is added to Kadince. So you only have to build that report or widget once and can then review and export as needed. 


Screenshot of Kadince widgets


These visuals are bound to make your board presentation more engaging and will help you gather the support you need to turn your idea into a fully functioning reality. 


To learn more about Kadince widgets and reports, schedule a demo.


None of Kadince, Inc., its affiliates, or its respective employees, directors, officers, and agents (collectively, “Kadince”) are responsible or liable for any content or information incorporated herein. Read full disclosure.

Jaidyn Crookston | Content Manager, Kadince

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