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The Advantageous Way to Push a New Project or Tool

Convincing
Impact

3 December, 2019

Staszek Kolarzowski, a co-founder at Pilot, spotlights a smooth process for convincing leadership to push through a new project or tool. He attributes this to several situations in his own company where he has found himself unable to say no to people introducing new processes.

Problem

We had a few testers in our company who wanted to by-stand different devices. I said no at some point because in my head it was a big project. Being in a leadership position as a manager I had the ability to say that we should or should not do something. That meant, that the testers had to take another route to sell me on the idea. 

Actions taken

  • After my initial rejection, what they did instead was tag two or three of their own devices and start using them in their free time.  
  • Then, they invited a friend or two to take part in using it and support them through the process.  
  • After it started to catch on, they brought it to my attention that they have been using it. They showed me how it worked and while assuring me I didn’t have to do anything new, asked me if they could continue doing this. 

From there, it was a really easy decision for me because they had already set it up and it essentially cost nothing for me to say ‘yes’. 

Lessons learned

  • There is no point for the manager to say “no” if there are people already using it. It is no longer a decision of introducing a new process, but rather if you should ask people to stop using it; which is a very different decision. It’s very easy to say “no” to new ideas without even trying them, but if people are already using it, saying “yes” is easier because nobody has to change anything. 
  • I do not think this works for every type of problem, but it is a good way to aim for getting approval in these situations. 
  • The more supporters you have, the easier the decision becomes because you are no longer just saying no to one person.
  • You do not have to tell anyone about the new process or try to sell the tool. It’s better not to make a big deal out of it. Instead, keep it casual by saying you would like to try a tool with no strings attached that would allow for some feedback to see if we could start using this. 
  • Avoid saying you are going to make changes or introduce a new process or tool because then people will start blocking you. Try to frame it in a way of an experiment where you have been trying new things that have been successful enough to start showing others.

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