Is leadership comfortable with ‘testing’ ideas before committing?

11th May 2015

Many leaders have clear visions and strategies that they communicate by ‘telling’ and ‘selling’ to stakeholders and the marketplace. ‘Telling’ and ‘selling’, when done well and within a solid communications strategy can be effective and get desired results.

There are also leaders who are able to see that broadly held strategies and ideas percolate through an organisation when those ideas and strategies begin in a ‘testing’ environment that builds support through engagement from an early stage. Some leaders find strength in involving others, whether the leadership team, management to certain levels, or the entire organisation is an exploration of their ideas.

To ‘test’ ideas with others is always challenging. It mean having strong feelings about ideas but holding those ideas loosely, in a way that the leader is open to change if the information they receive is compelling, and will add value to the strategy. It means leadership stands in a place of personal strength and holds a certain amount of patience while the ‘testing’ process and periods move at its pace.

‘Testing’ of ideas can create insights for leadership, begin the buy-in process for the organisation, and help identify potential blocks to communication that can then be built into strategy deployment. ‘Testing’ is very much a statement of strength of ideas and character.

The process of ‘testing’ also holds certain challenges, not least of which that no one likes or buys into the ideas or strategies. However, encountering and engaging the challenges is learning, too. And this type of ‘testing’ is designed to uncover the challenges while also exploring broader, related ideas.

“Testing’ is a terrific way to engage an organisation, especially if the ideas and strategies are not fully formed but need to be moving forward. We can help you think through when ‘testing’ is useful and how to best employ it as a communications strategy. Give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form. We will reply to you as soon as we can.