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How to Build A Case For Executive Buy-In On Leadership Development

Beth Thornton

December 20, 2019

As annual budgets come to a close, you might find yourself making a case for that performance management software you’ve always known would be beneficial for your organization. But the return on investment for a technology that also provides learning and development would make your performance software even more impactful. However, this can prove difficult to convey to the executives who control your cash flow. With the right preparation and the right argument, you’ll be able to demonstrate how leadership development content, embedded in your performance management software will accelerate your results  and should be a top business priority.

Here are some tips for bringing these topics to the forefront, and how to articulate clear value to your executive team:

Meet Their Needs

You might see a clear need for development at your level, but from the executive level it may look like a nice-to-have rather than a need-to-have. Approach the topic from a practical business standpoint. Leadership exists at every level, and not everyone is a natural born leader. Remind your executive leaders of its benefits at each stage: The right leadership development content has the tools to enhance your people's performance across all levels, all contributing to the bottom line and greater business goals. @InspireSoftware has more on why #leadershipdevelopment matters here:Tweet This!

  • Individual Leadership: Building self-awareness, self-management, and autonomous workload management for more effective delivery and greater impact at the individual contributor level.
  • Team Leadership: Coaching, mentoring, and providing regular performance feedback to build individual leadership; identifying and developing talent; motivating and engaging teams to produce higher quality output and improve productivity.
  • Executive Leadership: Strategic thinking and execution, decision-making, delivering organizational goals, and risk compliance

The right leadership development content has the tools to accelerate performance across each of these levels, all contributing to the bottom line and greater business goals. By putting it into context, you’ll help the executive team see the impact leadership development can make by helping your managers become better leaders and your employees to perform better under their leadership.

Bonus Content: Download the 7 Tips to Get Executive Buy-In Guide

Define Your Metrics

Now that your executive team has an interest in seeing the organizational impact of leadership development content included in performance management software, you’ll have to present it to them in numerical terms they can quantify. To make your case, you’ll need to think beyond the dollar amounts of expenses and revenues, and get into the day-to-day improvements on the business at large. Things like:

    • Improved time to efficiency
    • Higher retention rates
    • Increased job satisfaction
    • Better progress towards goals
    • Graduation rates of learning programs
    • Increased productivity
    • Increased employee engagement
    • Higher rated performance reviews
    • Career Progression
To make your case for adding #leadershipdevelopment as an accelerator, you’ll need to think beyond the dollar amounts of expenses and revenues, and get into the day-to-day improvements on the business. @InspireSoftware has advice for your pitch here:Tweet This!

When your executive team can see the demonstrable difference — rather than just the intangibles benefits — of your implementing leadership development content through technology, you’ll have a greater chance of successfully making your case. Identify what’s most important to their goals and objectives, and build your case around them.

Bonus Content: Download the Buyer’s Checklist for Goal-Setting Software

Anticipate Objection

The best way to prepare to get buy-in is to know why they’re might potentially say no — before you enter the room. You can’t anticipate every counter-argument, but take time to consider the opposing points and why someone might tell you no. It shows a lot about you in terms of your preparedness and passion for the topic, that you’ve considered every option, every angle, and you’ve determined that this is the best option for the organization as a whole.

When you demonstrate that you can think with their interests in mind as well as your own priorities, you will answer all their questions before they can ask, and show them that you’re passionate about creating great leaders to support and grow the business. It also gives you the opportunity to identify existing holes in your processes or what your idea might be missing, and figure out how to fill them accordingly. When you account for every detail, you’re less likely to be surprised in the boardroom.

At Inspire, our platform makes it easy to create a culture of continuous performance management that is made more impactful with leadership curriculum that you can apply in your flow of work to develop and achieve goals for your teams and leaders, have more meaningful one-to-ones and much more . We’d love to show you how Inspire Software can help to transform your culture while achieving the business results your executives strive for.