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Why Great Ideas Get Rejected

Regardless of how open-minded people are, they experience a subtle bias against creative ideas when faced with uncertain situations. 
If the implicit bias against creativity is triggered by uncertainty, then crafting your pitch to maximize certainty should improve the odds of the idea being accepted. You can do this in a variety of ways. Reaffirming what the client or your manager knows is true about their project should prime them to be more accepting of novel ideas. Connecting the idea to more familiar ideas, such as previous successful projects or similar works, will also increase the odds that your idea will be seen as practical and desirable. Lastly, try leading clients toward your idea with a series of statements they agree with and then pitching your idea as if it's theirs. Thus, counteracting the bias against creativity with an even more powerful bias – the bias for our own ideas!
The more certainty that you can provide to accompany your creative idea, the more likely it will be accepted.  Here are some additional thoughts of mine to help you do that:
  • Anticipate questions and objections - and be prepared to have thought through answers
  • Have numbers - know exactly what the financial (or human) impact and costs are to implementing the new idea
  • Find connection points between the creative idea and the organization's mission and vision - help them to see that it is merely an extension of what they are currently doing
(ht: 99U)


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