You must be optimistic about the idea of your Culture initiative; however, it will take more than just optimism to get the all-important leadership buy-in. Outlined below are 7 practical steps that can help you make your culture initiative goal a reality, and also guarantee you that all-important leadership buy-in that is instrumental to its fruition.
1. Pay Attention to The Interests of The Leaders in Your Organization
Usually, it’s easy to make out what the leaders in your organization are pursuing. A quick look at your company’s website, manifestos, internal memos, press releases and company newsletters can reveal quite a lot. Are leaders looking to cut cost? Revamping corporate culture? Extending the company’s market share? Introducing innovative products or services? Most times, organizations are looking to achieve multiple goals at a time.
It’s great news if your culture initiative is already aimed at accomplishing any of the current objectives of your organization.
If not, figure out a way to align your culture initiative with one of the current objectives of your organization. For instance, if your organization is steadfast about introducing innovative products or services, and your culture initiative is focused on employee motivation, you can dive deeper into the subject to highlight how a motivated staff base is crucial to both the introduction and sustainability of an organization’s creativity and strategy. Establish this connection and emphasize how your culture initiative can help the organization achieve one or more of its objectives.
2. Find A Champion
Ideally, one who has significant influence or a credible reputation in your organization. Also, this person has to understand and believe in the objective that your culture initiative is hoping to achieve and should be the organization’s point person for that actualization of the intended goal.
3. Probe Further
Once you have chosen a potential champion, have a chat with him/her to discuss the details of your culture initiative. The goal here is to be more of the listener than the talker in this conversation. Ensure you ask straight-to-the-point questions such as;
- What may hinder the approval of this Culture initiative?
- What modifications may make the initiative more appealing and realistic?
- How can I support your push for this initiative?
- What tips can you share to help me sell this initiative to other managers/leaders in the organization?
4. Introduce Your Idea
Now it is time to show the top corporate leaders in your organization how your culture initiative can help fast-track the organizational goals and objectives. Armed with information and advice from your champion, present your idea in the simplest and clearest of ways to the leadership, and ensure they understand to the very detail the concept of your culture initiative.
5. Wait for Feedback
Once you have made a case for your initiative, listen for feedback. Is it a yes or a no? The latter may be a reasonable answer from the organizational heads. Nevertheless, listen for reason and find out if there are other ways you can review your initiative to better fit the company goals and objectives.
If the answer was a yes, then work out the terms with the leadership. This includes timing, budget, staff and every other aspect regarding the smooth implementation of your Culture initiative.
If the leadership don’t wholly agree with your proposition, consult your champion again for help and advice.
If your initiative was given a seal of approval, great news! Ensure you keep your champion and/or the leadership team in the loop and inform them at intervals about the implementation and progress of your program.
Regardless, if your organizational leadership refuses to accept your initiative, then continue to keep your champion abreast of the latest changes and happenings in your organization. A recent development in your organization may mean that your initiative may become viable; this time around, with the right help from your champion and with leadership policy/decision making in your favor, you stand an even greater chance of success.