In episode 55 of the Leadership Minute, Joanna Martinez explains how to engage, gain support, and build consensus among stakeholders in organizations when pitching ideas that will create value for a company.
This episode is sponsored by Acceleration Economy’s Digital CIO Summit, taking place April 4-6. Register for the free event here. Tune in to the event to hear from CIO practitioners discuss their modernization and growth strategies.
00:27 — Joanna introduces today’s minute about stakeholder engagement. With the rapid advancement of technology, numerous opportunities have emerged for us to identify solutions that can create value for our companies and address business challenges. We get excited about new ideas and want to proceed right away, but we usually need to obtain approvals, funding, and resources then pitch the idea to others in the company to gain their support and convince them that it’s a winner.
01:05 — We all have different presentation styles in terms of getting people on board, but it’s not about us in this scenario. Focusing on stakeholders and engaging them in the best possible way is the most important priority, regardless of our presentation style. This means we have to focus outwardly rather than inwardly. We cannot simply think about moving forward with a proposal presentation.
01:42 — To engage our stakeholders effectively, we must understand what works best for them, especially those who have to approve what we want to do. This requires us to do what is necessary, not what comes naturally. For instance, if we need to approach the CFO, we should keep in mind that they are likely to be analytical and interested in seeing numbers. Therefore, we should not present an idea that isn’t well-vetted in terms of its costs and benefits.
02:12 — Similarly, if someone is very busy and has a packed schedule, we need to be succinct and avoid wasting their time. However, if we are dealing with someone who is engaging and likes to build relationships, then we should be ready to have more detailed conversations and spend more time getting them to agree to something.
02:41 — For every stakeholder, we must be ready to sit in their shoes and answer their questions, such as: “What’s in it for me?” or “What’s in it for my team?” It’s crucial to keep this in mind. Although we tend to prefer doing what comes naturally, we have to do what is necessary.
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