Big Company Bureaucracy: 4 Ways to Cut Through It

In A Large Organization, Keep Pushing For Innovation


This topic arguably forms one of the most common discussions I have had with my students this year. This issue comes up whenever I ask my class what they are going to do with the new technological skills they have learnt. And the result always indicates a lack of opportunity at their organizations to apply their new found skills.

As a Corporate Training Institution, LGIT Smart Solutions more often that not provides Microsoft Training and other business training courses to delegates who come from Big Business. It’s always an exciting opportunity to learn from these delegates about the different techniques they apply in their organizations that give them the edge over their much smaller rivals. However the issue of Red Tape is often the source of frustration that stifles innovation especially in the technology field.

So how do you navigate your way past bureaucratic processes and keep your innovative spirit alive in large organization? Here are 4 keys that can help you:

1. Do The Right Thing

The first step is to explain how your idea, product or service will create the most value for the organization. If the organization believes you are doing the right thing for them, you put up a barrier to saying no. They have to justify why they should NOT take action rather than why they should. During my days of working for Big Business, I knew one guy who was always at the cutting edge of Software Development techniques who used this technique religiously. Though painful as it was, he kept putting pressure on the rest of his lazy team mates to keep learning and applying new software development skills.

2. Build Relationships

In a larger organization, people need a reason to focus on something that they wouldn’t otherwise, and most people will take a meeting with a person they like and trust. To sell your case, you need a motivated party to give you a fair hearing. A trusted relationship will take your meeting and can leverage their network within the organization to get you in with the right people. The highest level of this skill is to simply surround yourself with influential people who can buy in to your ideas.

3. Don’t Take No For An Answer

Even if you are doing the right thing for the organization, the first answer you receive will probably be no. It’s just too hard for most organizations to push forward a change of any kind, even if adopting your new software will save lots of money.

When you get your first “no,” set up a time to restate your position and ask them to explain why they said no. You may also want to have additional conversations with influential people in the organization to be sure that the “no” is warranted and justified.

4. Punch Above Your Weight

In every conversation, show that you understand the needs of the CEO, shareholder, or any senior decision maker. You can demand the respect that you deserve when you show you can be a trusted partner for decision makers. If you are selling software and you aren’t relevant to anyone but the software engineers, you will only get a meeting with the software engineers!

Getting things done in a large organization is huge undertaking, however is an important one to drive growth and innovation. At a personal level, it also gives you a sense of achievement and satisfaction when you implement an idea that is adopted and implement.

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