In Match your ideas to the times, we suggested ways to match your creativity with the times. The third leg of the positioning and alignment trilogy is making sure your ideas are delivered to different audiences with the correct perspective. To each person, we are what we talk about or write about.
At one time or another, each of us has found himself pushed farther down the decision-making hierarchy than we wish because we mismatched the message to the audience. For example, talking to a strategic officer such as a CEO about detailed legal matters – that is, using implementation language – will usually get you referred (prematurely) to implementers in the Legal Dept. This may limit, or forfeit altogether, future access to the C-suite who, based on your choice of topics, now view you as an implementer, and not relevant to their strategic perspective.
We all earn access at different levels at different times. Here’s a quick cheat sheet to guide you as you decide what to discuss with whom: