How to get your board to support MACH
How to get your board to support MACH. MACH is a new concept, a new way of thinking.
Boards can be tough. They often have multiple responsibilities and may sit far enough from the challenges you see that they may not “get” the challenges or the urgency.
And, often, they are bored. They must sit through too many presentations that may be too long, too unfocused, and simply uninteresting.
Break the logjam!
Present MACH as an answer:
First, consider presenting MACH as an answer and one that is inevitably evolving from today’s challenges and capabilities. Like it or not, it’s where the industry is moving because it is simply a better way of doing business. Anticipate objections. Understand the virtual reality goggles that each board participant wears. Are they focused on financial realities and perhaps under pressure? Without overdoing it, be ready and able to explain how existing investments pave the way for MACH and how additional investments – likely relatively modest – can position the organisation for more efficient spending and better results.
Have similar answers, “ready to go” for those with different perspectives or personalities.
Read and stay attuned to your audience. Visuals, like PowerPoint, can be helpful. But booming sales pros know that eye contact. Pauses and an occasional example or ad-lib energise and excite listeners.
Be sensitive to your audience
Second, the board may already have its own habits for evaluating proposals, perhaps even a formal methodology. You may not be able to bypass that but hint at some of the relevant criteria useful for assessing MACH early and then integrate and reiterate as you conclude your presentation. Again, be sensitive to your audience. They will likely resist direct attempts to shape how they think – but evidentiary hints of valuable frames of reference or concepts for MACH can enhance a board’s sense of confidence and ready them to consider your proposal more favourably.
Carefully build your introduction
Nobody likes to be “Sold” something with aggressive tactics or implicit threats. But, a third suggestion for success is carefully building into your introduction and presentations. The concerns that have brought you to consider MACH and its opportunities. For instance, a passing reference to higher cost past investments and acknowledgement that MACH is longer-term and not a “Big Bang” can help get you to “yes.”
Two more things that can help – again weighing them against other elements and making sure not to burden listeners with too much information – are providing a rough measure or scorecard for where the business stands and where it needs to go and painting a lifecycle picture for MACH.
No, you don’t want to turn a MACH discussion into a referendum on how IT has conducted itself in the past or whether it is operating appropriately now. Instead, remind listeners of the KPIs by which you live and paint a broad and positive portrait of the organisation and its future. MACH can be offered as a natural if not inevitable next step.
And, in lockstep with this process, offer a lifecycle context. Even though not particularly relevant for MACH, this is the fear-uncertainty-doubt (FUD) part of most boards and their views of the world.
They have heard the pitches and seen the results. Sometimes they have been disappointed. Show that you are thinking long-term and can place MACH in the lifecycle picture for your organisation.
Lastly, be ready with examples, case studies, or supporting testimony from others. Just don’t be boring!
Help your board support MACH even further by taking part in our initiative in quantifying the business value of MACH technologies, by completing our survey here.
Learn more about our initiative.
- Top five ways marketers can embrace AI today
- Retail AI discovery workshop: How to create more value from your data – 6th December
- Xiatech and OneStock release first-of-its-kind 2023 Business Value of MACH Technologies Survey Results
- Celebrating a decade of success
- Mercaux partners with Xiatech to accelerate the transformation of physical retail stores into omnichannel destinations
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