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I didn’t realize until this morning that the term ‘laying pipe’ has some less than business appropriate meanings. But it’s a term my VP regularly uses to mean doing the ‘pre-sell’. And I had already finished my slides, so I kept it in You want to always be building a conduit for what you think should happen. Begin setting the stage for what you want to happen months or even years in advance. Pre-sell your ideas as much as you can up, down and sideways. All the important conversations should happen before you propose a new idea. You don’t ever want to be surprised by what people are going to say or how they will respond.Last year I was working hard to evangelize a significant effort towards improving our customer experience. I
Get a Seat at the Strategy Table - WebVisions 2011
Get a Seat at the Strategy TableSamantha Starmer firstname.lastname@example.org @samanthastarmer http://www.flickr.com/photos/myklroventine/2475433404/
me web and experience stuff: Amazon, Microsoft REI – Recreational Equipment, Inc. lead IA, UX, IxD & analytics teams teach at University of Washington
know the big picture http://www.flickr.com/photos/aatemu/4784742636/
know the big picture know your organizations’ strategic goals and objectives understand where can your work directly benefit those goals learn when and how decisions get made think about 5 years out and three levels up – what changes? take an executive to coffee
pre-sell always be building a conduit for your goals look for allies up, down and sideways know who will oppose you, and why all the important conversations should happen before you propose a new idea
offer solutions good: problems are framed as opportunities better: you bring proposed solutions whenever you identify a challenge best: you come to the table with the solution already implemented or underway
talk the talk listen more than you speak watch more than you present learn how your executives talk what is important to them? how are they rewarded and compensated? what words do they use? adapt to their language, don’t force them to adapt to yours
walk the walk http://www.flickr.com/photos/mulad/142543881
walk the walk get comfortable talking to executives get comfortable with strategy keep your perspective on the big picture it should feel natural for people to come to you with strategic questions Just do it. Just be it