New projects create change for the managers who approve them. New products create change for the customers who buy them. Whether you’re proposing a new project to your boss or a new product to your customer – either formally in a proposal, or informally – remember: they have their own ways of approaching innovation and change. They will want to hear how your concept fits with their perspectives.

The 4 Innovation Styles® are an excellent guide to making sure all perspectives are considered:

  • Visioning – encourages readers to strive for an ideal long-term future
  • Modifying – shows readers how you will build on the strengths of the current system
  • Experimenting – gives readers confidence you will use a well-tested process that considers a diversity of information, facts and research
  • Exploring – lets your readers know you’re on top of the latest new and novel approaches

While writing your proposal be sure to consider and include each of the four style perspectives:

  • A person who sees from a Visioning perspective will ask: What is our vision of the future, will this allow us to be the industry leader, and how does this enable us to reach our long-term goals?
  • A person who sees from a Modifying perspective will ask: How will this build upon what we already do well, will this maximize our potential for what we do successfully, will it strengthen our core processes and systems?
  • A person who sees from an Experimenting perspective will ask: Will we be able to synergize our capabilities across the organization, can we combine the best practices of our unit with the best practices of others, can we take advantage of our current allies?
  • A person who sees from an Exploring perspective will ask: Will this keep us on the leading-edge, will we be redefining the rules of the industry, will we be pioneering into new unknown territory?

Remember, if you only emphasize your preferred style in your proposals, you will definitely “miss” giving your readers what they also want to hear. When you include all four styles, you can be assured that you have developed and presented the most complete, well-rounded proposal, increasing your chances of success exponentially!