Tag Archives: collaboration

5 Keys to Building Momentum Around Your Idea

We spend a lot of time here coaching people on how to get the outcomes they want. And in some cases, the outcome is a sale of a product or a service. But in many cases, the outcome is the “sale” of an idea or a plan. The vast majority of persuasion that happens in the workplace concerns the building of alignment and persuading support for an idea or a strategy or a solution of some kind.

And whenever I am discussing this with a client, I always think about my own experience launching The Latimer Group in 2002. We are rapidly approaching our 15th year anniversary, and lately I have been thinking about some of the big lessons learned along the way.

When you are trying to build momentum around your idea or your plan, there are a few obvious things that must be in order… the idea has to be well organized, it needs to solve a critical problem and/or leverage a big opportunity, and you need to have, at least, some semblance of a business plan.

Every book, class or workshop on starting a business will cover these obvious points.

But when you are trying to build momentum around your idea, there are a few other, perhaps less obvious, things that must also be in order:

  1. Your life must be able to support your effort. You could have the greatest idea in the world, but if you don’t have time to nurture it and see it through, it won’t happen. I hear lots of stories about people trying to create a startup business “on the side” of their regular gig. In my experience, this rarely works out well for the regular gig, the side gig or both.
  2. The people closest to you have to be on board. You are going to need support along the way, either from your closest colleagues, or in many cases, the people in your personal life. In The Latimer Group example, the unsung hero of the Latimer story is my wife Emily. At any one of several points along the way, she could have gotten tired of the entrepreneurial life style (the unknown income next month… the 24-7 obsession…) and said “go get a real job.” I would have had a hard time ignoring that.
  3. You have to be patient. I remember a key piece of advice I got in 2002. I was speaking to a then-member of our Board of Advisors, and I said “I am going to give this 18-24 months, and if it isn’t working, I will try something else.” And the advisor laughed at me. “Not nearly enough time,” she said. You have to give things time to germinate.
  4. You have to refine the idea along the way. Show some intellectual agility. As you proceed, you will undoubtedly learn a few things, and you have to be willing to adjust. In our case, when I launched this the business idea was “presentation skills training.” But over time, we realized that was too narrow, and within a couple of years, we settled on the idea of “verbal persuasion.” Persuasion is not only a business-critical skill, but it is also something companies are willing to invest in.
  5. You have to have faith. There are a thousand reasons why your idea might die. But if you really believe it is a good idea, then you need to remain faithful to it. If you lack faith, why should I have faith?

The idea can be almost anything… maybe you have an idea for a better method of production, or a better sales plan, or a more refined organizational chart. Or, in my case, the idea might be a business idea that has changed the course of my family’s life. Regardless, you need more than just a business plan to maximize your chances of success.

Good luck!

At The Latimer Group, our individual Coaching services are highly customized and designed to help you achieve your specific goals. Typical engagements focus on developing skill sets in Leadership Communications, Public Speaking, and Executive-Level Business Presentations. To learn more, e-mail us at info@TheLatimerGroup.com

To Change the Minds of Others, Change This About Yourself

Some of our most popular blog posts lately have been about how we communicate with each other, and the divide that’s so often formed when we’re faced with an opinion or viewpoint different from our own. And while there are plenty of examples we’ve written about from our President on this subject, it’s certainly not limited to… Continue Reading

4 Communication Missteps Men Make in the Workplace

Earlier today, I had a LinkedIn conversation with a good friend named Bryan, who also happens to be a member of Latimer’s Board of Advisors. Bryan had read a recent blog post of ours about the language mistakes some women make in the workplace. And Bryan’s request and challenge to me was now to write… Continue Reading

3 Simple Changes to Give Your Meetings Fresh Perspective

Today’s post was written by Amy Fenollosa, Director of Learning at The Latimer Group. This week our team sat around a conference table with a consultant and after half an hour, he looked at us and said, “Maybe we should pause this discussion.” It was an unusual situation; typically we’re brought in as consultants and… Continue Reading

Leadership Tips: When to Debate, When to Dictate

I’m working with an executive right now who has an interesting and engaging leadership style. He likes to collaborate, he likes dialogue, he wants to hear what people have to say. He allows lots of input, and seems to detest strict hierarchy. I like this style, actually, because it is similar to my own. But… Continue Reading

The Sad Truth of “Post-Truth”

Last week I had a conversation with a long-time friend and business partner, Mary Ann. And she shared with me that the Oxford Dictionaries has selected “post-truth” as 2016’s international word of the year, after the contentious Brexit referendum and an equally divisive US presidential election caused usage of the adjective to skyrocket, according to… Continue Reading

Election Commentary: Our Most Toxic Issue

My colleagues and I have a long-standing policy with this blog… no politics. We have clients and friends who sit on both sides of the political divide, and this blog is about business, not politics. Given the current state of US politics, it is almost impossible to address issues without offending SOMEONE. But our business… Continue Reading

The 4 C’s of Leadership Communication

It’s an increasingly complicated world in which to live and do business. We have more access to information, and more access to each other than ever before. As we process that information, distractions and “white noise” come at each of us every day, at an alarming rate, from seemingly every direction, which makes our jobs… Continue Reading

When to Cooperate, and When to Collaborate

I heard a talk last week at a company conference by a guy who built much of his talk around the distinction between the words “cooperate” and “collaborate.” His point was that the concept of collaboration was a few steps beyond the concept of cooperation. His use of the terms was that when people cooperate… Continue Reading

The Caveat of Building Consensus

At The Latimer Group, we’ve been talking lately about the difference between Persuasion and Consensus. The question came up in our discussions among our colleagues and clients about whether Consensus is always necessarily a good thing. We wrote recently that it is — that we can persuade our coworkers toward a certain outcome, but if… Continue Reading

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