The Boardroom Brief: Mastering the Art of Pitching Talent Strategies
Working with over 20 companies, we’ve seen firsthand that getting a board to approve your talent strategy can be tricky. The stakes are high — often, these decisions are made just once a year. A ‘no’ can be a big setback. That’s why we’ve put together some practical tips to help you land that crucial ‘yes’ for your talent project or strategy.
Read on for 4 non-negotiables and 2 mistakes to avoid.
The 4 Non-negotiables
Start with the End
Executives value brevity. Begin by stating the final outcome of your talent strategy.
For example: “I propose this project, expected to yield [specific results]. Here you have the overview, but I’m ready to delve into the details if required.”
Be Prepared and Quick
Come to the meeting well-prepared, armed with data and projections. However, be aware that only a portion of your material might be covered. Aim for a to the point initial presentation, centred on the primary results and overall impact of your strategy.
For example, address how your idea will contribute to the company in terms of ROI, succession planning, future success, etc.
Emphasize the ‘What
Direct your pitch toward the objectives and outcomes. Although being prepared to discuss the ‘how’ is crucial, let the board’s interest and questions guide what topics you cover in depth.
For example: “This is what I want to do, this is why it’s important, and everything is data-backed. Do you want me to go into it?”
Data is your best friend
Ensure that every aspect of your strategy is supported by relevant data. Presenting a data-driven approach reassures the board of the strategy’s validity and effectiveness.
The 2 mistake you cannot make
Don’t focus on the work it took
We often see managers make this common mistake. They focus heavily on the amount of work they have put into the process (for very good reasons). This is not helpful as it’s not an objective reason to base a decision on. Executives will be more interested in results and strategic value than in the effort itself.
Not Assessing Their Mental Capacity
Board meetings can be long and demanding. If you present towards the end of the meeting, put yourself in their shoes. What depth of information do they need? How can you unburden them by managing the information you bring? See this as an opportunity to stand out by bringing energy and smartness to their snoozed off minds.