I see this a lot when innovation teams have to pitch a very rough potential business idea. They’ll say, “We don’t have anything. Our ideas are not refined enough. We’re going to show some packaging that looks crappy.” The lack of confidence stems from thinking in an execution perspective: when you execute an idea within the existing business, you know most of the variables, and you’re essentially showing off what you’re going to actually implement.
The real focus should be on presenting the evidence that has been gathered so far, and perhaps even displaying some low-fidelity prototypes of the solution or product. What teams should also really be proud of is the evidence that they’re bringing to the table. It’s the evidence, not the early stage solution, that will help teams and executives determine where to go next. It will also help to ask better questions around the next round of testing that has to be done to properly validate and de-risk the business idea.
Rather than showing the “perfect idea”, teams need to be confident about the indicators from their testing if an idea could work. Showing a perfect solution in no way indicates if an ideas going to work or not. Showing the evidence that customers have the job, pains and gains; that customers would actually purchase a specific value proposition; that the company can acquire customers on a larger scale; that the pricing is right. Those are the things you need to be confident about.