No matter what level you are at, stakeholder engagement is a critical skill and most successful leaders have mastered this capability. For some leaders this mastery remains intuitive and for others it is consciously developed through a strategic and systematic approach to stakeholder engagement.
Stakeholders include people within your organisation and externally and they may be someone you are managing downwards or someone you are managing upwards.
There are many tools and techniques that can be used to facilitate progressive dialogue and engagement with stakeholder and they may be a combination of: visual aids; multi-media; one-on-one meetings; workshops; forums; social media; surveys; newsletters; web tools; reference groups; scenario based activities; hypotheticals and experiential learning sessions.
Effective stakeholder engagement will create alignment, provide clarity and enables teams to perform well.
Stakeholder workshops are designed as targeted, interactive and engaging activities that will rapidly align a diverse group or multi-level stakeholders. They can be used to facilitate alignment, creativity and decision making and to generate key outputs.
Sessions can be held with smaller semi-aligned teams or larger groups that include stakeholders from across or outside of the organisation. Accelerator Workshops are very effective at the start of a major project or as a tool to engage stakeholders at any stage of a key initiative or strategy.
Levels of engagement are fluid and maintaining appropriate levels of engagement requires creativity and effort.
The four step workshop development process includes: analysis; design; facilitation and the development of visual tools to capture and embed the shared thinking that takes place during steps one to three. The analysis and design stages are used to carefully craft activities for specific engagement outcomes and can be run in a variety of different ways.
Read more in a recent article on Accelerator Workshops.