#aeabos: How to Champion Ideas

Two days, six speakers, one hour per talk, fully packed the day. As the conference approaches the end, the energy in the room is running low. The last speaker Scott Berkun brightened up the room with his motivational energy. And I'll pick up my long deferred blogging career in honor of him, starting first from doodling down his speech note here.

How To Champion Ideas (Back At Work)

How to take all the abstract knowledge you've learned from the speakers today, back to your work place?

Stay connected during and after the event (he has a blog post to elaborate)

  • Always (mentally) presented at the event (during the talks, the breaks, lunch hours)
  • Hand out your business cards! That's why you brought them here.
  • Ask people for business cards! That's why they brought them here.
  • How weird we are we just didn't want to cross the human interaction barrier.
  • Thank the speakers. Tweet them. Ask thoughtful questions. Make thoughtful comments.
  • Post your notes TODAY.

Recap on what you've went through in the past 2 days, summarize, maybe identify something you can immediately apply back at work. Reflect:

  • Lesson learned.
  • Problem it can solve in my organization
  • Projects or people with that problem - I can help

How to champion an idea:

  • Get the idea
  • Build it.
  • Ship it.

But it's not like that. Things get complicated when:

  • You got the idea
  • Convince the people who has the power to build it
  • Convince the people who has the power to decide whether to build that this is a good idea that deserves to be built
  • Build it.
  • Convince the people who has the power to ship it
  • ...
  • Ship it.

All the great projects, humongous projects - went through criticism and skepticism. 
Persuasion. Convincing. Championship - Don't shoot yourself or get shot.
Being a champion is not being an easy target.

  • Frame the discussion.
    • It's not what you say. It's what people want to hear.
  • Use your soft skills. Charm.
    • Charm is a designed human interaction.
    • Charm is contextual.

Convince your boss (your client, you partner, your customer, your wife, your husband...)

  • His complete blog post. Blow is the bullet points:
    • Be awesome at your job. (Boss is more acceptive of disruptive ideas from an employee who exceeds expectation at his or her own job.)
    • Get support from an influential co-worker.
    • Plan a small trial, including how to evaluate
    • Pitch it
    • Do it awesomely
    • Repeat. And try a little bit bigger.