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What are some things to consider when I’m making a proposal to the executive team at my organization?

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Generally, the interactions with the executive team are a little more routine; however, when you are approaching them with a significant request or proposal, it can be unnerving. The same anxious feelings can be a part of a meeting to discuss the quarterly status of your department's financial status. The key to success is to be prepared and know your material.

Key points to keep in mind when meeting with the executive team for a project proposal:

  • Know who the key players will be in the meeting
  • Take the time to think about each person's key point of influence and style of interaction
  • Do your homework, share the proposals with key stakeholders, and get their help prior to doing the formal presentation
  • Be prepared for questions (some of them you may not have answers for at that moment; however, you can propose a follow-up with additional details)
  • Be sure you are early for the presentation

Administrators are responsible for many interests and the bottom line. Begin your presentation with the conclusions and recommendations, followed by the detailed calculations. Be concise, yet complete in your presentation. Be clear about what you need, especially if you need a specific decision at the close of the meeting. Be meticulous about calculations and spelling. Separate your financial and operations perspectives into key points that can be shared, followed by time for questions. Frame any proposal in a manner that is aligned with the strategic priorities of the organization for the best chance of success.

- Pamela Hunt, BS, MSN, RN and Deborah Laughlon, RN, BSN, MS, DBA, CCRN