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Rock Your Trade Show: Inspiring interviews with Industry Insiders, Executive Leaders, Marketers and Influencers who share their insights, challenges and lessons learned so you can rock Your next trade show.

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May 22, 2017

Have you been working on a larger project but aren’t sure how to anticipate what leadership will think about your solution?  Find out how you can take your proposals from Maybe to Yes with Cathy Skala, Vice President, Transformational Change at Baxter.  Cathy shares how culture has a big impact on the way companies process information, whether they make decisions quickly or are slow to embrace change.  If you want to be included in final decisions, increase your value and be viewed as a key strategic leader this is the episode for you.

5 Strategies to Help You Get to Yes!

  1. Ask the right question: If you are preparing for a major presentation, and you want to be sure your vision is aligned with leadership, ask this question: “What do you need to know in order to make this decision” - Cathy Skala. By finding out what is important to the stakeholders you are able to meet and exceed their goals and objectives.
  2. Align yourself with a leader who shares your vision: Not all decisions are made in a group, in fact many discussions happen after the initial proposed solution. If you aren’t able to be present in the final discussion, make sure you have a leader who understands the benefits of your proposal and is able to articulate them in the final approval discussion.
  3. Present ideas clearly: When you begin your presentation, avoid the temptation to jump in to the facts and data right away. Provide a summary of the opinions of the group, especially if you have different departments assembled like procurement, marketing, sales, and finance.  Try using this phrase, “I asked each of you what is important for you in making this decision.  Here is what I heard…”-Cathy Skala.  Next describe using their objectives how your solution meets those goals.
  4. Understand your culture: Every company has a culture and within large organizations, departments also might have their own subset integrated into the greater whole. When you understand how your area makes decisions, it becomes easier to prepare in advance and avoid leadership sending you in a different direction when you are asking for approval.
  5. Increase your value and visibility: When leadership has heard your name mentioned, or seen how you perform outside of your role, it will help them believe in your solution.  Volunteer within your company, ask to be assigned to a multi-function role, serve on a committee and better yet lead a committee.  All of these tactics will change colleague’s perception about believing in your recommendations.

The larger the project, the bigger the budget, decisions become more complex.   And if you are experiencing change within your organization, all the more reason to implement these 5 tips today. 

If you like what you heard in this interview, or have an idea for a new episode, reach out to me, I love hearing from you. 


Cathy shared that she suggests “Unstuck” by Keith Yamashita and Sandra Spataro .

Cathy Skala is on twitter @cathyskala and on LinkedIn and her company is Baxter.

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Podcast Editing: A big thank to Team Podcast and Christy Haussler!