Your great research or business idea won't be implemented unless you convince your supervisor, co-workers, and funding sponsors that it is feasible and will be profitable. Failure to accomplish this is the main reason excellent ideas fall by the wayside.

  1. Begin by describing your idea in a dated notebook. This will protect you should someone else try to take credit for your idea.
  2. Discuss your idea with your coworkers and supervisor. View these critiques as opportunities to improve your idea.
  3. Be sure you aren't re-inventing the wheel. Has your firm studied this idea before and rejected it? Research the public literature and check the patent literature as well.
  4. Estimate the time, effort, and funding needed to develop your idea.
  5. Be sure your idea fits your employer's business culture.
  6. Present your idea in terms your business sponsors understand. Start your presentation with a "hook"-a clear statement of the business incentives to develop and commercialize your idea.
  7. Ask for commitment. Make it clear what is the next step you are asking your business sponsor to take.

If management rejects your idea, keep it in your file. Your idea may be a good one submitted at a bad time. Changes in business conditions or technological advances may make it worthwhile to resubmit your idea later. Understanding the reasons for the idea's rejection will help you determine if and when to do this. It will also help you when you submit other ideas.