“You cannot generate heartfelt debate unless the participants believe that the outcome is not predetermined.”
– Rudolph Giuliani
Who in a company would consider it worthwhile to share his or her views or speak up at a meeting knowing that their opinion did not matter? How many times have you not bothered to express your views on a subject simply because you thought that no matter what you said, the outcome had already been decided?
In such cases, when you think the outcome is predetermined – or at least perceive it to be predetermined – you still can make a difference. You need to go into the debate or discussion fully prepared and motivated to show that someone might want to think twice about the decision at hand. If you surprise everyone with your mastery of the topic, then you (or your idea) will become a serious contender. Perhaps you can turn the whole corporate atmosphere around, so that the next time a debate is on the horizon, the outcome is not predetermined.