Elsbach, Kimberly D. “How to Pitch a Brilliant Idea.” Harvard Business Review (September 2003; product #R0309J).
Coming up with creative ideas is easy; selling them to strangers is hard. Entrepreneurs, sales executives, and marketing managers often go to great lengths to demonstrate that their new concepts are practical and profitable—only to be rejected by corporate decision makers who don’t seem to understand the value of the ideas. Why does this happen? Having studied Hollywood executives who assess screenplay pitches, the author says the person on the receiving end—the “catcher”—tends to gauge the pitcher’s creativity as well as the proposal itself. An impression of the pitcher’s ability to come up with workable ideas ...