Big Ideas in Big Companies
Making significant changes in a business can be challenging and is often especially difficult in big companies where it’s hard to get your voice heard, and break through protocol and resistance at the top.
We firmly believe that every procurement professional has a unique vantage point in the industries, communities and businesses they work in. Your Big Idea, inspired by some of the amazing experiences and insights you have, could be the one to change the face of the procurement profession.
Red-Tape and Resistance
However, getting your ideas heard and implemented is often easier said than done. Change can be implemented more readily in smaller businesses or start-ups, where there are fewer employees and greater flexibility, and roles are more diverse or interchangeable.
In big companies there is more red-tape and resistance to change. It can be difficult to make your voice heard by the right people when there is a fixed hierarchy and more stakeholders to consider. If you want to be a game-changer in a big company, having communication skills and the confidence to assert your innovative ideas is key.
As for the people at the top of these organisations, it’s their task to ensure they are inspiring intrapreneurship and considering the potential for great ideas to come from anyone, and anywhere, whether it be a graduate or a supplier.
People at the top need new ideas and new perspectives, so the chances are they will appreciate an employee taking the initiative to pitch an original idea. If you are fortunate enough to have this opportunity, don’t be complacent. Prepare, rehearse and ask for feedback from colleagues and friends.
It is crucial to deliver a slick and compelling pitch, which captures the attention of those listening. How you sell your idea, and convey your passion for it, will make all the difference.
Your audience needs to know what is so great about your idea, how it stands out, and if it will be worthwhile. You should consider how this change can be implemented within your organisation, and how you can measure its success.
What problems does this idea solve for your business? If you can’t articulate these points in a concise and convincing way, your voice won’t be heard and your ideas will be discarded, no matter how fantastic they are.
Commitment to Your Big Idea
Excellent communication, despite its importance, might not be quite enough to seal the deal with your Big Idea. It often takes greater persistence than just one great pitch.
Big companies, and those at the top of those big companies, can be averse to change and reluctant to take risks particularly if the change proposed is a big one. Chris Lynch, CFO at Rio Tinto, believes that, in larger companies, “the bigger the idea, the greater the resistance.” A flawless business plan might not be enough to relieve any hesitancy your employers have.
Your confidence, passion and perseverance are key. If you give up at the first hurdle, your idea can’t have been worth fighting for, and colleagues or employers will doubt you ever had the courage of your convictions.
Additionally, you can demonstrate your drive and commitment by doing your homework. Don’t get caught out by not being up to speed and seeming unprepared. Make sure you’ve done the background reading, made contingency plans and considered every eventuality. Again, your audience will be impressed by your motivation.
It can take years for an idea to come to fruition within big companies, and you might face a series of hurdles along the way. Don’t give up on yourself or your ideas. Keep dreaming big.
It is not solely the responsibility of the employee to push for change in large organisations. Senior decision makers and those at the top can help by being encouraging and harvesting intrapreneurship.
Even if one particular idea doesn’t tickle your fancy, the person pitching it is someone to be encouraged and supported as a future innovator and game changer. These are the people on the inside who can think outside existing limits, the ones with the creative skills to reinvent companies and drive change.
As far as procurement goes, there is always room for the intrapreneurs who will become leaders, influencing entire organisations and developing breakthrough solutions for a variety of organisational issues.
A Big Idea Can Come from Anyone
It doesn’t matter if someone is experienced or inexperienced, a recent graduate or a long-term employee, they can still contribute a great idea to a large company. The best ideas could come from someone or somewhere you least expect.
As procurement professionals it is important to listen to our suppliers as much as our employees. No enterprise is an island, and collaborative change can be the most rewarding of all. Our partners on the outside can see what we on the inside can’t, which is why it’s important to heed the advice and suggestions suppliers make. It is a valuable approach to perceive suppliers not simply as an expenditure but as value-adding co-workers.
As the pace of change increases in business and procurement, and new trends and technologies are developed all the time, organisations cannot afford to be close minded when it comes to new ideas. You never know what you are going to hear if you open your door and create a culture of innovation in your company.
Don’t miss out on this truly excellent event and the chance to participate in discussions that will shape the future of the procurement profession. Get Involved, register today.