A Checklist to Consider How Ideas are Processed Internally

By Kriss Barlow, RN, MBA


“It is one thing to have a great idea – it is quite another to see your idea actually implemented. How often have you had a “brainstorm”, gotten excited, rushed in to share it with your boss, co-workers, family, etc. only to see their eyes glaze over as you talk? Instead of being excited, they are either overwhelmed or quickly lose interest.”

-BG Allen


Admit it, you’ve had your share of fabulous ideas, but sometimes it’s hard to reach out for positive attention or approval of these ideas from your internal team. Maintaining an innovative approach is critical to staying ahead of the competition, so how do we earn internal support try new ideas, and in turn the green light to put new concepts into action? By classifying and qualifying your ideas and current approach to sharing them, you’ll begin to more easily recognize opportunities to share new ideas and collaborate on appropriate plans of action.

___The ideas I share have substance.

___Before I share a new concept, I take the time to work through the pros and cons.

___I evaluate whom it will impact within the organization.

___I build a simple presentation plan, with reason for need, rationale behind the suggested approach, ways to market test, expected impact, cost/benefit analysis, and operational implications.

___ My ideas are aligned with my area of expertise.

___ I actively work on the implementation of my new idea and ideas of others on my team.

___ My style of sharing ideas matches the culture of sharing within my organization.

___ I have a track record of coming up with great new ideas. I am recognized as a good “idea person.”

___ I have cultivated internal cheerleaders.

___I know the chain of command and I work to earn credibility through consistent reports, messages of

impact and the sharing of strategic opportunities.

___I bring positive messages to stakeholders within the organization.

___I call out others for their support.

___I appropriately share insights from my role to help others understand it more clearly.

___ I am diligent about tracking the impact of each new idea.

___ I give credit where credit is due, making sure to recognize those within the organization that helped

implement a new idea.

___ I give equal time and consideration to the ideas of others.

Most healthcare organizations are very cautious about change. To internal stakeholders, a new idea may feel as though it requires more effort than the potential worth it could produce in the future. Style, approach and internal credibility are critical markers on the path…and patient persistence will have impact. Switch up your approach and see if you can push through a few more ideas, each with a higher level of value backed by internal support. When you do, make sure to assure those internal supporters of their wisdom!