Creative ideas are everywhere. The world is replete with ideas from aspiring entrepreneurs, corporate managers to movie and ad makers. The hard one is the selling part. You are supposed to sell your brilliant ideas to a complete stranger or even to a team of decision makers. These strangers in their truest sense are actually decision makers who can either make or break your idea. In other words, these are the people, who can either leave your idea in the dumps or take it to the bigger league.
Dr. Kimberly D. Elsbach is associate dean and a professor of organizational behavior at the Graduate School of Management, University of California.
Dr. Elsbach, wrote at length about how to pitch a brilliant idea to the decision makers. This article was published in Harvard business review in the September 2003 issue. It was delightful to read through the contents of the article and we should be making use of the techniques and approaches mentioned there.
The story very well relates to the fact that there are no “good ideas or bad ideas”. All ideas are brilliant. The success or the failure of the idea or in other words, the idea taking off or not lies on the person who is pitching it or selling it, i.e. the pitcher. The pitcher needs to be brilliant as well. It is the characteristics of the pitcher that matters. Whether he is able to communicate his passion and articulate his idea in a convincing manner and his inherent qualities are the deciding factors.
Usually, the decision makers at the receiving end, view the idea’s worth from the pitcher’s abilities to project it “right”. The pitcher’s abilities usually overshadow the perception about the ‘workability’ of the idea itself.
In all this milieu of things, there are some classifications that are made based on the characteristics of the pitcher. The premise is that people generally judge us within few minutes of seeing us in action and neatly place us or classify us under some categories. So the good thing is that a pitcher needs to be wary of the fact the audience is judging and will show no mercy on that evaluation and this will have a lasting impression about the pitcher’s qualities and character.
Generally, there are no objective measures for measuring the elusive trait of creativity in a person. So the criteria for judgment is very subjective. In these scenarios, the pitcher needs to be smart to take the decision makers along with them for developing the idea during the presentation. Decision makers respond well to such suggestions on idea development.
Dr. Elsbach, has made several observations of pitchers trying to communicate their ideas in a way to convince the decision makers. These observations range from the $ 50 billion US television and the movie industry to other global corporate companies.