10 questions that drive better decision making

Janellis are running a series Critical Thinking Lab’s with executives from a broad range of industries. There is consensus across all sectors for improved decision making at all levels within the organisation as some individuals and teams are:

  • “too quick to make decisions without considering the facts and/or impacts
  • “too slow to make decisions and with poor judgement”
  • “making decisions with bias, limited structure or rigor”

Many organisations want to become more adaptive and to embed an ‘agile’ culture and this relies on effective decision making occurring at all layers within the organisation.

A broad spectrum of skills underpin good decision-making including the ability to ‘cut through’ by analysing, verifying and clarifying. Imagining, perceiving and collaborating are core skills and synthesising, prioritising, planning and communicating are essential elements of good decision making.

Many of these skills are considered ‘critical thinking’ skills and not surprisingly, it is usually the executive leaders within the organisation who have honed these skills through intuition and experience.

The opportunity is to build these skills across the organisation more broadly as “a company’s strategy is the sum of decisions it effectively makes and executes over time” and this needs to happen at all layers on a day-day basis, not just for the executive-led decisions.

Recently we have been asked the following questions:

How can we simplify the decision making process? How can we speed it up? How can we provide more rigor? How can we improve decision making at all levels within the organisation?

Janellis have an Executive Decision Support Tool that has been used for over ten years for senior leaders to navigate through some of their most complex challenges. Most teams like the simplicity and structure but others don’t like the words ‘tool’, process or framework as they feel as though they already have enough of these within their organisation.

For those who don’t want another framework or ‘tool’ we have summarised the ten key questions that drive better decision making. These questions assume that this is being done on an individual basis or that someone is leading the discussion with the right people already in the room.

10 key questions are:

  1. What are the facts?
  2. What are the assumptions?
  3. What is the main issue / opportunity?
  4. Based on the main issue / opportunity, what is the most likely outcome?
  5. Based on the main issue / opportunity, what is the worst-case scenario?
  6. Based on the main issue / opportunity, what is the best-case scenario?
  7. Based on these scenarios what are the likely impacts across the key areas of the organisation? i.e. People, Finance, Customers, Strategy, etc.
  8. What do we need to do now and what do we need to do later?
  9. Who are all the key stakeholders that we need to communicate with?
  10. How, who and when will we communicate?

These steps may seem obvious and simplistic but debating the facts and assumptions is essential to cutting through to the main issue, particularly where there is incomplete or conflicting information. Data is an important part of getting to the facts and should be used to inform and support decision making but not dictate it. Challenging assumptions can highlight conscious and unconscious bias at the same time as drawing upon intuition and experience. The importance of this step cannot be overstated as the rest of the decision-making is often underpinned by how well this is done.

We consider all steps in our process as critical thinking but in their purest form some of the key steps include creative thinking. In his book Think Better Tim Hurson says:

 “The overarching principle of productive thinking is that creative thinking and critical thinking have to separate. The productive thinking dynamic is the ongoing alternation between critical thinking and creative thinking. Imagine a kayak paddle. One side stands for creative thinking and the other critical. If you always use the creative thinking paddle you will go around in circles. If you use the critical paddle you go in circles the other way. 

The key is to alternate between the two. That way you develop enormous forward momentum”.

In a group situation, by following the steps, it becomes clear who is more inclined towards creative thinking or critical thinking. Bringing a team together who have diversity of thought and experience, allows for teams to ‘toggle’ between critical and creative thinking in a way that creates momentum and produces more robust decision making.

The benefit of using the framework is it provides rigor for the individual or teams to ‘stay within the process’. This is particularly valuable where there are personal preferences and inclinations to stay too long in either the creative or critical thinking phase, running the risk of ‘going around in circles‘.

If you would like to see or use our executive decision support tool or would like to attend one of our Critical Thinking Labs you can contact Jonthan.Durnall@Janellis.com.au.

 

Developing critical thinking within teams

In my last article on using scenario planning to build an adaptive capacity I mentioned the research we undertook with executives on building resilience within critical infrastructure and the value of change management in executing strategy.

In uncovering the most current issues and thinking in these areas the research found that, for some organisations, there has been a convergence of issues raised as:

  • a resilient organisation has been described as one that has an adaptive capacity to deal with change and;
  • organisations looking to improve the change management aspects of executing strategy are seeking to build greater resilience in their people, specifically in leading and responding well to change.

Developing ‘critical thinking’ within teams

One of the main approaches Janellis take in helping organisations build their resilience and adaptive capacity is to enhance and develop critical thinking skills. The tool that we use to embed and enable team based critical thinking is our executive decision support tool.

The tool has been designed to enable critical thinking during times of high pressure and scrutiny to: ‘cut through’ conflicting or incomplete information; understand priorities; assess impacts across key areas; make decisions; allocate tasks and to communicate effectively to a full range of identified stakeholders.

The tool allows teams to be agile and adaptive and to demonstrate resilience in the face of rapid and disruptive change.

Teams who have been using the tool for many years have intuitively used this capability in other areas such as running major transformation projects, steering committee meetings and responding to significant regulatory changes.

Most successful leaders are already following this critical thinking process in an intuitive way, at a personal level. Using the tool enables critical thinking capability to be developed more broadly in a collective way, that draws upon the diverse views and experiences within the team or organisation.

The benefits in using an executive decision support tool are:

• Helping teams through critical decision points in establishing the strategic direction or within projects being planned or underway;

• Providing more rigor for steering committee members to help uncover issues, confirm priorities, guide decision making and enhance stakeholder engagement;

• Uncovering blind spots to respond effectively to all types of risks including those that are strategic or slow burn;

• Enabling a strong risk-­based culture by a more thorough evaluation process of key impacts.

The tool can be used at any level within the organisation to uplift critical thinking capability and to accelerate the development of emerging leaders.

Critical thinking enables leaders to understand the impact of their decisions and helps create alignment and accountability for results.

For more information on the tool, the research or our Critical Thinking Labs please email jonathan.durnall@janellis.com.au.

Using scenario planning to build an adaptive capacity

The Value of Change Management

The value of change management is a challenge with executives and leaders who need to quantify their investments in this area. How do they know they are getting a true return on investment? Even some of the largest change teams, where there are high levels of change maturity and awareness, are constantly being scrutinised to provide tangible visibility and metrics.

The greatest fear is to invest in key initiatives that do not provide the expected benefits. This could be a $1B enterprise-wide Transformation program where the new structure and processes are not understood or adopted, or could be a $1M Technology project where staff then do not use the newly implemented system.

What is the ‘opportunity cost’ of not getting it right, and not getting it right the very first time? There is obviously a huge financial saving to an organisation when getting it right, and that financial number will depend on the scale of the initiative.

Success over failure

In my last article titled Strategy Execution Trends for 2017, I summarised the current top trends that executives are driving to improve organisational performance and execute strategy ‘better’. A key trend was the investment in change management:

‘Taking a proactive and integrated change management approach to business transformation and project delivery is providing savings and an increased return on investment (ROI). Change management effort and output is being quantified by measurement of these savings, and also the ‘opportunity cost’ of failed delivery directly resulting from a lack of change management investment.’

Change management expertise is critical to the success of organisational programs, projects, and initiatives. Investment in change management has increased as a direct result of executive acceptance that this is now proven and can be evidenced. Change management expertise provides a higher likelihood of change adoption and benefits realisation.

Measuring Change Management

Change management has in the past been measured through soft or qualifiable methods and key indicators rather than quantifiable methods and hard numbers. Change management is not a one-size-fits-all approach and can be scaled to fit different organisations. There is also not one standard benchmark formula that provides a hard value measurement on Change Management.

Typically the measurement has been linked to key outcomes. For example: a project was delivered on time and within budget, 10 key strategic benefits were realised, productivity increased by 20%, there was an 85% employee uptake, project waste or re-work was reduced by $500,000.

Some industry approaches to measuring change management include:

  • Measuring productivity of the workforce before and after a change was suggested.
  • Measuring progress and adoption rates.
  • Surveying engagement levels.
  • Developing tools that assess the effectiveness of specific change management activities and measure the outcome of a change initiative.
  • Building scorecards for change and creating a set of metrics to gauge effectiveness.
  • Quantitative measurement linked to reaching key goals.

Prosci – world’s leading change management research company:

‘The top trend identified in our global benchmarking studies was a greater recognition of the value of change management.’ 

‘A discipline focused on enabling and encouraging employees to embrace, adopt and utilise change required by a project or initiative will directly contribute to higher return on organisational investment through faster adoption, greater utilisation and higher proficiency. Change management directly contributes to ROI.

For more information on Transformation and Change Management please visit:

The value of Strategic Alignment Reviews

Billions of dollars are invested in programs and projects daily. The financial and opportunity cost of investment in programs that fail to deliver on strategic outcomes continues to be a significant challenge for organisations.

Undertaking a Program Strategic Alignment Review ensures that strategic benefits and outcomes agreed by executives and key sponsors will be met; facilitates effective and successful program delivery; saves substantial amounts of investment in program re-work; and helps organisations to realise their Return on Investment (ROI).

Case Example

A Janellis client recently had a high-profile enterprise program in-flight that was composed of a portfolio of multiple technology projects. The program, at the outset, was thought to have had clear and well-defined strategic benefits and outcomes agreed with the Executive.

During a critical stage of the program, concerns were raised and specific questions posed:

  • “Are the strategic outcomes going to be met?”
  • “Are we doing the projects in the right order?”
  • “Are the projects going to meet Executive expectations?”
  • “Is the program set up for success?”

An urgent and independent Program Strategic Alignment Review was conducted by Janellis with the goal to answer the above listed questions and provide evidence and recommendations to support the findings.

The assignment was sponsored at the Executive level with a clear mandate but also coincided with an organisational restructure that was in progress. The uncertainty and lack of clarity around ownership made the approach to effective stakeholder engagement critical in ensuring the assignment was completed successfully.

Findings

One-on-one interviews were conducted with a diverse range of stakeholders and the findings were that the program had been under-resourced and under-funded due to competing economic demands, and there was a lack of clarity and ownership in key areas.

It was found that the program had not been structured as well as it should have and key decisions at a project level had been made based on spend rather than the combination of ‘best solution’ and ‘cost’. Importantly it was also found that the strategic objectives, benefits and outcomes had not been defined well enough.

Outcome

The Program Strategic Alignment Review Report was provided to the Chief Executive as an independent assessment with an agreed revised plan and strategy, including the case for new funding commitment to invest in fixing the program. The program was re-defined with clearer and more detailed outcomes and expectations, and more strategic consideration for stakeholder engagement and alignment.

Post-engagement the client assigned a new senior program manager to lead the high-profile program. The contents of the review and report were critical in helping the program manager to make the right decisions in re-setting the program and re-affirming the strategic benefits and desired outcomes. The program has now been successfully delivered.

Janellis Strategic Alignment Reviews can be done at any stage during a project or program using our consultative discovery process. A Program Alignment Report is created with findings and recommendations delivered in a succinct and visual way and typically includes an Executive Summary, Program Overview, Key Insights, Concerns, Recommendations, and an Action Plan.

Building an agile culture

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, business leaders are looking to strip back traditional and cumbersome business process, and create new work cultures and mechanisms that enable faster execution and faster delivery – many are turning Agile.

Agile is hardly a new term. Agile has become a proven approach to nimble execution for executives and senior managers, and is also one of the most popular and effective project and change management methodologies. It may be one of the most over-used terms in business today – along with Transformation – and gets a mention in every executive strategy, and forms prominently in the internal vocabulary across almost every organisation.

Leaders and executives want their organisations to ‘be Agile’ and to ‘work Agile’.

For organisations to ‘be Agile’ and to work in an agile way, they require a culture of agility. 

Creating a culture of agility requires the changing of attitudes, behaviours, and habits of those within an organisation. These changes need to be underpinned by the improvement or re-engineering of business process across the entire organisation, creating a quicker and more responsive way of working and an environment that enables the acceleration of strategy.

Keys to building an Agile culture:

  • Shifting the focus onto measuring ‘leading’ rather than ‘lagging’ indicators of success – Determining what the leading indicators of success are and reporting on those in a pro-active and visible way allows the organisation to be adaptive, to adjust and change outcomes.
  • Framework that provides visibility, transparency and accountability across the enterprise – Having a framework is necessary to provide visibility, drive accountability and track results. For example; formalising the structure into an Enterprise Program Management Office or Transformation Office creates transparency and enables the organisation to prioritise investments and resources as well as facilitate fact-based decision making faster and with more accuracy.
  • Ideas generation – Implement a pipeline of business improvement ideas, and ensure this pipeline is always building and being maintained and that a robust process is in place to prioritise and select the ideas for execution depending on the organisation’s environment and market position at that time.
  • Speed to value – All the effort must translate into improved business performance. This can be dependent on the system of measurement that has been agreed and implemented top-down. For example; organisational financial performance, operational performance, customer satisfaction, etc.  This also must work both ways in that if initiatives are not providing value (not working) then the concept of agility becomes important in shutting down these initiatives and starting new ones based on the ideas pipeline above.
  • Visual and interactive tools to engage teams, facilitate decision making and maintain momentum – The use of visual tools as well as personal and verbal interaction allows for rapid decision making and sharing of information. There are different ways that visual tools can be integrated into the framework above.
  • Strategic approach to change management – A more strategic approach to change management looks at change across the enterprise and clarifies specific desired behaviours and provides ‘enablers’ to support these to occur. For example; success can be attributed to communicating the ‘why’ very clearly and with a strong support system in place everyone is more likely to commit to the change journey.

Enterprise Transformation – executing strategy more efficiently through the Enterprise Program Management Office

A framework that provides visibility and transparency is often necessary to drive accountability and track results. Each organisation tends to have a slightly different approach to this but the objectives and characteristics of the frameworks are very similar. The framework needs to have as ‘light a touch’ as possible on the organisation and needs to create alignment as well as provide the right level of visibility and accountability.

There is a trend towards formalising the structure into an Enterprise Program Management Office [EPMO] or Transformation Office. The value of this structure is that it creates transparency and enables the organisation to prioritise investments and resources as well as facilitating fact-based decision making. This structure also allows for the regular reporting of leading indicators of success such project health information.

The drivers for setting up an EPMO have primarily been to:

  • have greater visibility and of the current programs of work and investments;
  • ensure the project benefits are established and are aligned with the strategic objectives;
  • provide strategic oversight and dependency analysis across key projects; especially where ‘whole of business’ changes are occurring;
  • ensure that the investments are occurring on the right projects, achieving the stated benefits within budget and agreed timeframes;
  • provide ‘thought leadership’ on project prioritisation;
  • provide executive level reporting and decision making tools;
  • support the business with frameworks and tools that allow for consistency and efficiencies in delivery.

A research initiative on Enterprise Transformation – Executing strategy more efficiently through the Enterprise Program Management Office had the following key findings:

  • the EMPO is considered to be strategic and critical to the successful execution of strategy for many organisations;
  • establishing an EMPO has delivered notable improvements in the benefits realisation process, financial tracking, the prioritisation process and executive level reporting; although most agreed that all of these areas could be improved further;
  • ideally the accountability for delivery sits within the business units; with the EPMO providing strategic oversight and alignment between key areas;
  • the greatest area of ‘pain’ and ‘opportunity to do things better’ to execute strategy, drive efficiencies and gain value in the shortest period of time; is having an effective change management capability; investing in strategic and enterprise-wide change management capability is being seen as a way to accelerate the execution of strategy.

Download the full paper here. 

Is your project set up for success?


With 87% of the perceived value of programs being unrealised when organisations move from strategy to execution, many organisations are looking to ‘do things better’.

Billions of dollars are being invested in projects on a daily basis. The financial and ‘opportunity’ cost to invest in programs of work that fail to deliver on strategic outcomes is a problem that needs solving.

Many of the programs and projects start well, with defined strategic benefits and outcomes that have been agreed to by the executives and key sponsors. Many of the ‘drivers’, objectives and benefits are based on known assumptions at that time.

Over the course of the program however the following questions and concerns get raised:

  • Are the drivers for this program still relevant, considering the change occurring within our business and externally?
  • Is this program setup for success?
  • Do we have the right resources and expertise to meet the objectives set and realise the benefits documented?
  • Have we engaged the right stakeholders and are they aligned to this program of work in order for us to succeed?

Given the complexity of organisations and people within those organisations and the rate of change occurring; these questions are all valid and relevant and need to be answered on a regular basis to ensure that the perceived benefits are realised within the timeframe and budget allocated.

How can you ensure Strategic Alignment throughout the project life-cycle?

Janellis have an approach to strategic alignment that seeks to answer these questions at any time in the life-cycle of a program. Our approach builds on investments already made and creates alignment; facilitates consensus and builds confidence for all who have a stake in the program.

The Janellis Strategic Alignment Review (or Project Health Check) is a consultative discovery process with key stakeholders, and includes a review of documentation, one-on-one meetings and workshops, where relevant.

The key questions that we seek to answer through the meetings and documentation review are:

  • Strategic Alignment – Does the program still link to strategic objectives of the executive team, and is it being prioritised appropriately within an enterprise project portfolio?
  • Stakeholder engagement – Are the key stakeholders engaged in the program at the levels that they need to be. Is there a change management plan that identified all relevant stakeholders?
  • Ownership – Have the people and teams responsible for owning the outcomes been identified and are they clear on how they will maintain and sustain the solutions?
  • Benefits Realisation – Are the projected benefits still relevant and achievable? How are they being measured, how will they be embedded and who will own that accountability?
  • Resources – Does the project have the right people sponsoring, leading and working on the program? Are their roles and deliverables clear and do they have the capability to ensure success?
  • Risk Management – Are the real risks of success being identified? Beyond a risk plan and issues log, are risks being communicated, managed and mitigated for the program?
  • Governance – Is the governance framework following best practice in terms of management structure, documentation, quality assurance, procurement and requirements gathering?

What will a Strategic Alignment Review provide you?

A Strategic Alignment Review will highlight significant issues that require immediate attention, uncover areas of excellence to be applied more broadly and provide assurance on the areas that do not require further work.

Anyone sponsoring, managing or delivering a project or program of strategic initiatives would benefit in undertaking a review such as this to provide assurance on the likelihood of success, alignment to objectives and meeting executive expectations.

A review will raise awareness of the issues and provide confidence to those working on the project as well as stakeholders including the board, regulators and critical suppliers or clients, where relevant.

How have other businesses used this approach to create Strategic Alignment?

Many of our clients are spending a significant amount of money on project-based activities. Statistics for projects being delivered on time, on budget and delivering the expected benefits indicate that there are still many challenges in this area.

Consultants working in team in the office

Janellis project specialists and executive coaches

Right now, those responsible for the outcomes and benefits realisation of projects are facing increasing pressure to provide assurance to a range of key stakeholders. By initiating the Janellis Strategic Alignment Review, our clients have generated a level of transparency and clarity that has allowed them to address the issues, highlight the wins and set the project on course for success.

Why Janellis?

  • We have been working in this field for the past 17 years with some of the most complex organisations in Australia and are experts in this niche area of strategic alignment.
  • Our unique tools have been widely used and can help accelerate the strategic benefits of any program.
  • Our consultants are highly skilled and experienced in all stages of a project life-cycle and can review, lead or support critical initiatives.

For more information on our Strategic Alignment capability, Project Health Checks and our Subject Matter Expertise in this area please follow the links below, call us to request a meeting – info@janellis.com.au

 


Stakeholder Accelerator Workshops

In a recent article we addressed the 4 Simple steps to engage key stakeholders.

Effective stakeholder engagement is at the heart of executing strategy well and one of the most effective ways to engage a diverse group of stakeholders quickly is through Accelerator Workshops.

These 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.

Our four step 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.

Analysis

During the analysis stage the main focus is on the stakeholder’s current levels of engagement, awareness and alignment. Tools at this stage of the process will delve into the current behaviours, issues or concerns and in establishing the desired outcomes.   Questions we ask during this phase are:

  1. Who are the key stakeholders and how engaged are they?
  2. What are they currently saying, thinking, feeling or doing?
  3. What do we want them to be feeling, thinking, saying or doing?
  4. What strategies have already been used to engage them?

This stage highlights the tension areas, acceleration opportunities and creative gaps.  The more traditional considerations are also documented such as the drivers for this initiative, challenges, outcomes, what needs to be agreed upon and what needs to be validated or created.

Design

At the design stage there are a range of potential approaches that can be taken, recognising that interactive and challenging activities that connect emotionally are the most powerful ways to engage.

The design phase usually includes the development of multi-media and other visually appealing tools. We use a combination of technology and the more tactile ways to engage using traditional approaches.

Facilitation

Our facilitators are experienced at creating a trusted environment within which the teams can find ways to connect and to establish shared areas of interest, expertise or concerns.

Effective facilitation pivots off a high-trust and safe environment and our facilitators are able to maintain rapport with a range of stakeholders, whilst managing the pace of the activity and achieving the outcomes set.

Strong participation and effective listening fosters critical thinking, removes blockages and stimulates creative thinking, to create solutions and to consider possible futures.

Visual tools

The use of visual tools during the facilitated session is one of the critical success factors in achieving alignment and engagement.

Having highly skilled individuals come together in this format creates unique opportunities to develop new ideas through shared thinking. Providing the visual tools to the teams after the facilitated event is essential to maintaining alignment and clarity on issues, objectives and outcomes.

Effective stakeholder engagement is an on-going challenge and opportunity for all organisations and doing it well ensures teams perform well.  

New ways to do this quickly and effectively can help organisations accelerate their strategic objectives.

If you would like more information on our Acceleration Workshops please email Harrison Orr at Harrison.orr@janellis.com.au

4 Simple Steps to Engage Key Stakeholders

Effective stakeholder engagement is at the heart of executing strategy well and most successful leaders have mastered this skill.

For some, this mastery is intuitive and for others it is consciously developed through a strategic and systematic approach to stakeholder engagement.

There are a number of different stakeholder engagement frameworks and our simple and holistic approach includes the following 4 steps:

  1. Who are my key stakeholders (and who are they not)?
  2. What are they currently thinking, saying, feeling or doing?
  3. What do I want them to be saying, feeling, thinking or doing?
  4. What strategies can I use to better engage them?

1. Who are my key stakeholders?

If you ask someone who their key stakeholders are; they will usually be able to mention a few names of people who immediately come to mind. Most of us can manage some stakeholders very well, some of the time, but the art and science is effectively engaging with all of them, even the difficult ones.

Having a view of all of your key stakeholders is an important starting point for effective stakeholder engagement. In some instances there is merit to being open and inclusive when considering stakeholders, other times it is important to target who you need to engage with. The most demanding and vocal stakeholders may not be the most important ones and so it’s important to be clear on what priority they are in the context of your broader objectives.

2. How engaged are they? What are they currently thinking, saying or doing?

The positive aspect of difficult stakeholders is that by the time you’ve classified them as ‘difficult’ you have at least understood where they stand. Stakeholders who don’t let you know their levels of engagement can be harder to identify and influence.

Stakeholders will give you clues about how interested, engaged, supportive, active, motivated, indifferent or hostile they are by their behaviours, or lack of them. Having insight into what they are thinking, saying or doing will give you important information to work with.

Key ways to establish their level of engagement is to observe their behaviours or ask them how they are feeling or what they are thinking. Once you know their level of ‘engagement’ you can start to consider how big the gap may be.

3. What do I want them to be thinking, feeling, saying or doing?

Stakeholder engagement focuses on the human element of change and getting people to adopt new behaviours and to think and feel differently.

If we want stakeholders to be involved or to complete a certain task a new way, we need to be explicit on what those behaviours are.  If we want them to feel assured, empowered or confident, we need to know that it is the intent.

For example we may want a key member of our executive leadership team to:

Do: Promote a positive message about the program (at a certain time, place or way).
Feel: Confident in the capability of the team and assured that risks have been identified and managed.

4. What strategies can I use to better engage them?

Stakeholder engagement is often thought of as a single step from ‘not engaged’ to ‘engaged’ but usually the process is more gradual.

Stakeholders have key questions in their mind when you are asking them to engage. Questions may be: “What are you offering or asking of me; What is the benefit if I do or risk if I don’t; Why should I believe you; How will my personal experience be different as a result?”.

Stakeholders need to have a reason and a framework to do things differently and there are a number of ways to change behaviour:

  • Engage in progressive dialogue
  • Develop a communications strategy and formulate strong messaging using visual tools and story-telling techniques
  • Communicate persuasively

There are many tools and techniques that can be used to facilitate progressive dialogue and engagement 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.  

Interactive and challenging activities that connect emotionally are the most powerful ways to engage. Levels of engagement are fluid and maintaining appropriate levels of engagement requires creativity and effort.

If you are not yet managing your key stakeholders strategically four simple steps are:

  1. Create a document to capture the key stakeholder groups, people within those groups.
  2. Develop a structured set of questions to gather the key information on what they are doing or how they are feeling, what they may be concerned about and what their expectations are.
  3. Analyse the information gained against what you want levels of engagement you require and what you want them to be saying, thinking, feeling or doing. Be as specific as possible.
  4. Develop a persuasive stakeholder engagement strategy that uses visual tools and story-telling capability to involve, interest, motivate, inspire and retain them.

This content is drawn from our 1-Day Stakeholder Engagement and Influencing Workshop. If you would like to register for a workshop visit our Events page or for a copy of our more detailed Stakeholder Engagement Guide email info@janellis.com.au.