When Milestones’ CEO Brett Miles speaks about getting buy-in, people react two ways:
- They get it
- They buy into the concept
Take the recent American Society for Quality convention in Irvine, California. Seventy members who make quality control their business caught Miles’ pitch. As Brett described: “Getting buy-in is about people collaboratively finding solutions that are mutually satisfactory and act to bring about change. The biggest problem people have with ‘getting buy-in’ is that they don’t want to manipulate anyone. Instead buy-in is about serving people, identifying their individual needs and benefits and figuring out how to partner and collaborate.”
“It was right on,” said Dave Nagy of Bolero Associates LLC in Orange, California. “He delivered it in a way that was easy to understand so that participants could put buy-in into practice.”
Talk Of The Town
The speech title that drew such top reviews was “Getting Buy-In: The Essential Business Skill,” a topic Miles knows cover to cover, having written a “Buy-In” book. His keynote is that executives can get team members pulling in the same direction if they get them to buy into a program. That happens when we seek first to understand what another person needs. Asking questions that seek understanding, then listening with empathy and concern are the first steps down the path of gaining buy-in,” Brett hared.
Nagy felt especially in tune singing high praise after the speech. He works on two tracks — as principal owner of Bolero, a training and consulting company of 25 employees; and as program chairman of the Orange Empire Section of ASQ, which educates members to upgrade skills and cut down on waste.
Nagy said that with Bolero, “If I don’t get buy-in for projects and proposals, I’m in trouble. Getting buy-in helps with new ideas, new ways to do work. Brett’s talk was very much needed. I don’t think you can deliver on expectations without buy-in, so it’s absolutely critical.”
As for what ASQ’s Orange Empire attendees took back to the office after Miles’ message, Nagy responded: “I also don’t think an organization can be successful and grow unless the CEO and COO have a vision and sell that vision to employees. Buy-in really helps the organization achieve the vision.”
Nagy’s experience with people and business helped him connect with Miles while the Milestones founder spoke at an Association of Professional Consultants convention in 2004. “His ability to interact with the group as well ss his message made him unique,” Nagy said. “It was very well done.”
Cindi Manning is a quality engineer at Jazz Semiconductor, in Newport Beach, CA, making sure chip orders meet requirements. She was so jazzed by Miles’ speech that she wrote her next office e-mail with a tone of getting buy-in. A colleague was late on approvals, and she posed her note as a question. “It’s about getting fellow employees involved,” she said of her new direction.
Ed Matthews, a Six Sigma leader for Honeywell, Inc. in Buena Park, California explained, “Brett brought in practical examples and spoke in a way that an audience can understand. He wasn’t complicated and kept the audience engaged by using the right amount of humor.”
“The people there were from different backgrounds. I’m in service, but most were in manufacturing. He put everything in a fashion that connected with anybody.
“When I got back to the office, I mentioned what I learned to a district manager, and he said I should make that presentation to our sales team.”
Buy-in, said Matthews, “can be applied to anything. I have a bunch of stakeholders, and this helps when I make a presentation to get them to buy into change.”
“In the business world it’s very important,” said Matthews. “When you’re dealing with customers, you’ve got to make sure they have an understanding of everything so that they buy into the process.”
“Buy-in,” said Matthews, “helps get funding, orders, acceptance of projects. Brett did great. Hopefully he’ll come back. ”