I’m not certain how many of our readers are familiar with the TV show “Shark Tank” however it’s a favorite in my home. Why? Probably because it is built around entrepreneurs who have started a business. And, in order to take it to the next level, they make a pitch to a panel of accomplished businesspeople (the Sharks) who might be interested in investing their own money in the business for a percentage of the company. Maybe you’re familiar with those on the “Shark” Panel: Mark Cuban, Lori Greiner, Barbara Corcoran, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John and Kevin O’leary. Each of these people are self-made successes and well qualified to ‘interview’ others wanting to follow in their footsteps.
The presentations are often interesting and even entertaining and those who attract an investor seem to be the ones who have a well thought-out plan as well as a good hold on their numbers to date and their needs to achieve the desired growth and how they . And each week that I watch it I can’t help but to think about the great ideas that, I’m convinced, reside within the minds of so many imaginative and creative people working in many, many companies … and never get presented or implemented.
So let’s pretend here. Pretend that there exists a ‘Shark Tank’ in your organization. It could be made up of senior management of the company or of your department. Of course they see their job as steering what they oversee to greater and greater heights in terms of success. As such they spend many hours envisioning possibilities and devising plans to achieve the desired ones. This is where you go daily to make your contribution and too often, leave the steering decisions to that shark tank.
Still, I wonder … what
- IDEAS do you have that would make the company or your department more successful? What new products do you think would expand your product line that make sense? What new processes can you suggest that would streamline the efficiency? What new market do you believe is ripe for the company to enter?
- FACTS and FIGURES do you need to present to justify your beliefs and justify the proposed change you are making?
- ‘SHARKS’ within the organization DO you believe you need to present to in order to advance and ultimately get approval for your concept.
So let me guess that you’ve come up with a number of things that you could take to your shark tank however you’re not inclined to charge ahead. Why? Is it possible that …
- You don’t see this as your job and want to keep your nose to the grindstone in what you’ve been hired to do and leave the steering to the sharks?
- You’re concerned that you might be chastised for tending to business that is not yours and be marked as one to watch for the wrong reasons?
- You’re still not sure you have all of the answers and hold-back for fear of being wrong in spite of your well thought-out idea and plan?
We can assure you of one thing with certainty. There is not a single person who qualifies to be a Shark who got there because they avoided making errors. In fact, they got there, in part, because of their mistakes. Taking your ideas designed to help your organization be more successful does carry the risk that you may not be 100% correct in your facts or assumptions. At the same time it also offers the reward of being seen as a creative and thinking team member who, through your thoughts and ideas, are playing a key role in helping the company achieve the very success that all aim to achieve. Not all sharks are out to get us. Don’t be intimidated by the sharp teeth. They don’t always bite.