Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My Great Idea - Rejected!

Have you ever had a great idea?  One that you just knew would make a difference for your organization, maybe even the entire community?  Did you make sure you researched it, collected the appropriate data, and even addressed the political pitfalls that would need to be avoided in order for your idea to get off the ground?

I worked for a time outside of HR and I had one of those ideas...and it was rejected...in a big way.

But You Don't Understand
How could this be?  I did the work.  My idea saves money.  Everybody wins.  There must be some mistake.  But there was no mistake.  The CEO of the organization I worked for at that time was not comfortable moving forward.  My idea faded away and the organization moved ahead.  But what was I supposed to do?  I certainly did not understand.  In fact, I still don't.  It was a damn good idea.

Now What?
I found myself in a very awkward position after that experience.  I had worked with my supervisor (the Vice President of Medical Affairs); I had worked closely with the team in Finance to develop the pro forma; I had worked with the lead physician from our major competitor (this was a joint venture project between bitter healthcare system rivals); I clearly demonstrated that patient care would improve for both organization's patients; I took everything into consideration...except one thing.


Somehow I hadn't learned that the CEOs of both systems back then could not appear to be working collaboratively.  They were rivals.  Period.

Time To Choose
I quickly realized I had one of two choices to make:  1 - sulk, complain, and get lost in my own misery; or, 2 - suck it up and move on.  My colleagues would have allowed me some time to feel bad for myself.  They knew how much I had put into that proposal, and that I was on the verge of making a major breakthrough in how healthcare was delivered in that community.  They would have understood.

But I went with #2.  I hate whining.  I hate being miserable.  I hate excuses.

How About You
When have you had a terrific idea and it was rejected?  How did you handle it?  Did you walk around as if you just lost your best friend?  Or, did you step up, learn, and move forward?

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of Resume Guides

1 comment:

  1. Been there. Most memorable was when I was working in telecommunications at a start-up, and started to really understand that long distance (back when there was such a thing) didn't cost the company any extra. I came up with a proposal to build a package around unlimited long distance at a flat rate. The incremental cost was almost none, and it would give us separation in the market. I think having the idea come from the young guy running the help desk instead of our seasoned marking team was one of the issues. It was dismissed out of hand.

    About a year later, all of the major players started launching very similar programs.

    Yes, you can sulk. Yes, you deserve more credit. But at the very least I took away a lesson that my instincts were right, and are worth listening to from time to time.