Making progress when corporate politics are strong.

Great ideas often fail.

When you’re working for a large corporation, that notion might be very familiar. It’s often hard to push through your ideas, to implement real change, to transform the organization for the better.

For every yes, there are a dozen no’s, for every win, there’s a dozen losses.

I’ve come to understand over the years, the only real way to make transformative change at a large corporation where politics run deep is to be willing to make compromises and to give up your ideas to someone else, someone who can implement them.

Making Compromises

Sometimes we have a vision for a product. To you, that vision might be a no-brainer, a clear path forward, a path that has crazy ROI in the long run.

Most of us have a tendency to take the all or nothing way. If my idea can’t be implemented, it’s a loss. If only we could shift our attitudes towards compromise, we could win so much.

The thought of compromising away 3/4 of your idea, meeting somewhere not-so-in-the-middle might seem disappointing, but it’s a way to make progress. If you have an idea and there is opposition and friction, be willing to accept losses and move on with whatever wins you can extract from that idea. 1/4 of a great idea is better than 0/4 of that great idea.

Giving Up Your Ideas

Sometimes a great idea in your hands might not be actionable, but if it’s pitched to someone in a higher position of authority, or someone in the spotlight, it might go a long way. Having the willingness to pitch your idea to the right set of people, and letting them take credit for the win is crucial in some circumstances when making compromises is simply not enough.