The new CEO of a FTSE 100 client had an insight. He realised that during the past three years, 99% of all business investment cases had been approved by the executive team. The executive team had a habit of saying 'yes'.
Being uncomfortable with such a high ‘yes’ rate, he decided to dig a bit deeper and found that staff was preparing near-perfect business cases...
So what is he doing about it?
He's asking for more examples of embryonic business cases and has made it okay for people to make less polished presentations. Consequently, the leadership team is getting earlier visibility of a higher volume of opportunities.
Not all of these higher risk / higher reward opportunities will be approved, many will be rejected, but some won't, and that's the point! Even though leaders will have to say ‘no’ more often than they do today, the higher risk / higher reward opportunities are spotlighted sooner rather than later, and this is vital if superior growth is on the agenda.
For senior executives reading this article, are you presented with near-perfect business cases or do you get to see some early-stage business ideas that could potentially deliver superior growth?
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Head of Innovation
About the author: With twenty-five years' experience in innovation in both consulting and commercial roles, an MBA and a degree in engineering, Gerard Harkin is a recognised expert in innovation. He has worked with organisations of all sizes in over a dozen industries, building new propositions, businesses and products. He is the author of Innovation Unplugged and has written over 100 innovation articles.