Champion Ideas: Built-In Beats Bought-In

You and your team – after a few meetings and many hours – have the plan all figured out. Excellent! Now, you just need to share it and get buy in from the other departments who will help carry it out.

Fast-forward a few days…

While many are on board, you faced resistance, found out you forgot key details, and need to regroup. Not a total loss, but significant adjustments are required. After changes are made, you need to shop it around again… Sound familiar?

This is a common scenario. We pull together a team (which we purposely keep small to prevent distraction and promote efficiency) and create plans other people will implement. We try to foresee challenges that may be thrown at us from the finance, operations, supply chain, creative, and leadership teams. We spend only 20% of our time planning but end up spending 80% selling and re-selling.

Any efficiency we created building the plan with our small group has been wasted in re-work, with bent coat hangers and duct tape, to meet requirements. While our plans may appear a success, they are a shadow of what they could have been, and the structural integrity is questionable.

The solution?

Flip the model.

Instead of getting them bought in after planning, have them built-in and part of the plan. Instead of the exclusive, small team, in secret… include all stakeholders… anyone who will have skin in the game.

Spend 80% of your time building and crafting. Building correctly the first time allows you to spend the remaining 20% plussing, or working on something else. It may not reduce the entire amount of time you spend on a project, but it will ensure programs are…

  • better thought through,
  • not stalled and halted for retrofits, and
  • better implemented. Which is really the goal of all this, right?

Built-in instead of bought-in means… Concerns and issues can be directly addressed up-front. This eliminates fix-it jobs later and promotes a rock solid plan now.

Yes, you’ll share the glory, but you also share the workload, and the troubleshooting if there is a snag during execution. Everyone is responsible for making it a success. Everyone is an ambassador. Go team!

With your next project, instead of trying to anticipate concerns, ask for them. Instead of trying to get them bought in at the end, have them built-in at the beginning.