If you give it a half decent go, you will quickly start to notch up the benefits. Over the years, I have seen people achieve remarkable advances in a very short space of time in so many different areas. For example, clients have been able to…
- Focus their time on what will make the biggest difference to their success.
- Reduce the risks of failure and be more prepared if those risks start to materialise.
- Dramatically increase buy-in, getting more people to actively support their work.
- Deliver their projects in record time, with fewer problems and enhanced benefit realisation.
- Pull out of the detail so they could take a more strategic view.
- Achieve much more with much less.
- Become more confident, assured and less stressed.
- Attract the attention of the talent spotters at the top of their organisation.
- Move forward their career, sometimes several steps at a time.
The Stakeholder Influence Process is also useful in a very wide range of pursuits. Over the last ten years, I have seen it being successfully used by clients who are…
- Delivering programmes and projects (big and small)
- Launching new products
- Starting businesses
- Managing crises
- Implementing change initiatives
- Turning around failing businesses
- Accelerating their careers
- Managing suppliers
- Introducing new systems
Basically, anything you need to achieve, which requires determined effort over a period of time and involves lots of people, is likely to be aided significantly by the Stakeholder Influence Process. Recently, I saw one delegate on a workshop use it during the coffee break to develop a strategy for improving the relationship she had with her mother-in-law!
While all of the above sounds great, it needs to be recognised that the Stakeholder Influence Process is not going to immediately solve all of your problems. What it will do is help you to identify the actions you need to take in order to start making progress on your problems. You still have to take responsibility and implement the actions. You still need to exercise skill, persistence and creativity in arriving at the solution. Without the Stakeholder Influence Process, people often struggle to make sense of what is going on. They get stuck in the detail, buffeted by the problems and issues, and are unable to make sense of what is happening to them (or their project). This process is the beginning of end for these problems.
Another factor which needs to be stressed is that for some readers the benefit will be unexpected and, at least in the short term, a little uncomfortable and stressful. Occasionally, when I have coached people with this process, they have realised that the goal they are striving for is simply not going to happen. Maybe the powerful forces moving against them are simply too much, the opposition too strong, or the project they are working on was ill-conceived and really should not be implemented. Going through the process can become a little emotional, but at the end of the day there is little point working on something that is doomed. Eventually, the process gave them the confidence and the thinking to engage their stakeholders in healthy and objective debate and bring forward the decision to cancel their project. Without doubt, these decisions were tough. However, what these individuals managed to avoid was many hours of agony and wasted time, effort and money.
Those who had the courage of their convictions benefited greatly in the long run because their organisations realised the value that they brought. Although their projects may have been cancelled, they quickly became eagerly sought after for other critical initiatives. In many ways, what they had discovered is the power that often comes from showing such commitment to the organisation that they were even willing to stake their own future on finding the right solution for the organisation. A rare quality indeed!
However, these sorts of unexpected benefits are very much in the minority. Most people are able to protect their projects from sabotage, conflicting priorities and agendas. Basically, they move their work forward with much more support and safety than their competition – simply by applying the Stakeholder Influence Process.
There are no magic pills, panaceas or quick fixes here. But what this approach does do is help you to quickly find the action which needs to be taken, the arguments or debates which need to be conducted, so that you can move forward and overcome any opposition which may be waiting to thwart your endeavours.