Getting Buy-In

Jul 1, 2021

Two years into my job at a large corporate, I started looking out for new project opportunities within my team. I needed a new challenge.

I set out on the project-hunt mission, brainstorming with various teams and diving into a few project ideas. There was a particular idea that caught my attention the most. With some back-of-the-envelop calculations, I estimated the potential impact. It seemed promising.

After further due diligence, I laid out a plan to review with my manager. My manager was sold (but not enough). The problem — there was no budget to execute!

Have you been in a position when you struggled to get buy-in? Here’s a summary of my learnings and recommended approach:

The candy offer

Tie your project to what the execs care about.

Don’t assume the leadership team to be on the same page as yourself. Communication is key here. Take time to understand their strategy and vision, and align your project with it.

Strike when iron is hot

Time your ask.

If the problem you’re solving isn’t top of mind for the execs, it is unlikely it will get attention. Wait for the right opportunity. Got an escalation that could’ve been avoided with your project? This might be the time to go for it!

First deserve then desire

Focus on quick wins.

Try to get approvals for a portion of what you need. Identify low hanging fruits to deliver results. It showcases your capability and potential impact your inititative can drive. Leverage it for additional resources.