Oftentimes, when you’re heading up the IT team of a company or you’re leading a certain area of a business, you’re the first person to become aware of the organization’s need for new technology.
However, the board of directors, who aren’t always involved in the day-to-day running of a business, can take a little bit more convincing. This can be quite a frustrating process as you to try and convince them of the business’s need for this new technology or network, all the while knowing it’s the best possible move for the company.
Thankfully, there are some ways you can get that all-important “yes” from the big bosses:
Define Your Actions Before the Meeting
Before you head into your big meeting with the board there are a number of things you can do. This includes defining your objective so you know what the potential ROI is and why this new technology is imperative for the business.
It’s also worth speaking to individual board members before the meeting, especially those who you think will challenge you. This gives you the opportunity to discuss your idea with them beforehand, allowing them to ask you any critical questions before the meeting takes place.
State Your Objectives
Once you’re in the meeting with your bosses, make sure it’s 100% clear what you’re asking for. Is your goal aligned with the board’s overall ambitions? And will it match up to non-investor and investor members?
Rather than making this meeting a speech, create a two-way conversation with the board members. As before, you’ll probably need to be patient while they ask technical questions regarding the new technology, which is why you might want to write down a list of potential queries before you head in there. Use some of the questions that were asked by the board members in your initial meetings as an indication of what may come up.
Don’t be surprised if very basic questions are asked, such as, “What is MPLS?” – just to try to remain professional, clear, and respectful in your answer. These things might seem very obvious to you but untechnical members may find it more difficult to get their head around.
Talk About Your Strategy
When you’re involved in technology — all day every day — it’s easy to get bogged down in technical jargon when you’re making a presentation. However, you’re only going to lose the attendees’ focus if you do this.
Instead, offer them the information on a strategic level, demonstrating how this will give the company a competitive advantage, how it could attract more sales, and how it reduces expenses. Make sure your reasons for the project are compelling and drive home this message by showing the end-user benefits, using real-life situations as examples.
If required, you may find it easier to explain complicated topics using analogies. Relate the technical concept to something that’s easy for the board members to understand – this will make sure the meeting runs smoothly and moves in the right direction. The board members will want to know how this technology is going to answer a specific need in the business’s marketplace.
Conclusion on How to Convince Your Board of Directors You Need New Technology
Finally, try not to be too intimated by the board by making sure you’re prepared. Just like you, the board wants to see the company succeed. And if you can demonstrate how a new piece of technology will drive the business forward, they’ll be eager to hear more and will want to invest in your idea.