getting buy-in for your vision

By this point, you’ve got your vision and are ready to change the world. But do you know how to communicate that vision to others, and how to get them to buy into the idea? Here’s a few ideas on how to do just that.

First, make sure you actually know what your members and team expect from you. Things will go poorly if you enter the conversation expecting them to roll over and do whatever you say. You need to be prepared to address their concerns first and foremost, and understanding where they’re coming from goes a long way in doing that. 

It also makes sense: the people within your organization know best how things have worked in the past, and probably all have good ideas on moving forward into the future.

Convincing everyone at once can be a big lift; it may help to find someone within the larger group who you can get on-board quickly, to help bring others with him or her. The individual is most likely going to be someone trusted by you, and by the majority of those on your team. This will help you to spread your message and find the best messenger for each person — you may not be the best messenger for every member of the team, but someone trusted by them and less of a superior may be the best choice.

So the big takeaway between these items is that you articulate your vision within the context of your group’s values. And it also has to be top of mind for your group, if folks are going to buy-in. There is a tendency to create a big idea and then expect the weight of its importance to carry it through. Don’t make this mistake. You invested the time in creating a vision for your group – see it through to the end.

One way to ensure everyone is on board with your new vision is to have sessions where everyone is invited to collaborate and critique. If people feel like they play a role in crafting the path for the future, they’ll be far more likely to remain invested and help see it through. Another consideration is your own availability. Don’t expect to drop a new way of thinking and culture onto the team and then leave without playing an active role. 

Another type of person to cover are those who don’t believe in the vision. You may not be able to convince them entirely, but understanding their reasons for pushing back can help you strengthen your messaging to others, and ensure everyone has their concerns addressed. Keep your ears open for complaints; in a way, it shows that people are engaged and care about the organization. Don’t think of it as negative pushback, but constructive criticism.

Finally, your vision needs to engage the emotions. People will not get on-board with something that bores them. They need to have a visceral connection with the idea behind the vision, not just the text on paper. 

With these tools, you’re ready to move to the next step and take your vision to those beyond your team. 

See these great examples from a few organizations you’ve likely heard of.

Alzheimer’s Association: A world without Alzheimer’s disease.

IKEA: Our vision is to create a better every-day life for many people.

Nike: Bring inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world. (*If you have a body, you are an athlete.)”

Kirk Kovach

Kirk Kovach

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