3 Ways to Actively Involve Stakeholders to Accelerate Change

A compass pointing to a Better Way to Actively Involve Stakeholders to Accelerate Change

Actively Involve Stakeholders to Accelerate Change
When you seek to initiate change in your organization – from a strategic shift to a cultural transformation to an important project – actively involve stakeholders to accelerate change as early in the process as possible.  Then create a mechanism to monitor progress, create transparency and hold people accountable.  Otherwise the inherent disconnect between the C-Suite and the frontline will sabotage your best laid plans.

The Definition of Key Stakeholders
Let’s start with a definition of stakeholders.  Who you define as your key stakeholders and how you involve them is an important strategic choice for any change initiative.  We define key stakeholders as the constituents that matter most in terms of having:

  • Influence or power over your work
  • Vested interest in the successful or unsuccessful conclusion of your work

While there are many proven methods for performing a stakeholder analysis, in general those with the most influence, power and interest in your work should be actively involved from the start and kept in close check during the change process.  Those with the less influence, power and interest can be monitored and informed as the need arises.

The Basics of How to Actively Involve Stakeholders to Accelerate Change
Though the decision for change in the organization is likely to originate at the leadership level weeks, months or years before the rest of the organization is brought into the fold, leaders are typically not the actual implementers of the change.  They may initiate it, define it, articulate it, and communicate it to the rest of the company…but they are usually not the ones to put it into action.

Leaders must depend upon their managers and frontline employees to execute change.  But how they transfer the intent, commitment and accountability from their executive vantage point to those across the organization will have a lot to do with how successful the change will be.  And in general, the farther away from the executive team you get, the more time you must spend actively involving those impacted by change if you want to win over their hearts and their minds.

Three Ways to Actively Involve Stakeholders to Accelerate Change
If change is to be executed smoothly across functions, teams and levels, change leaders must actively involve all key stakeholders early and often to increase understanding.  Greater understanding leads to greater ownership.  And greater ownership leads to greater levels of engagement, accountability and resilience.

1. Include Stakeholders Early, Frequently and Honestly
Inclusion and involvement is not the same as buy-in. Inclusion and involvement focus on letting people have a say in “how” change will be made.  Buy-in focuses on “whether” the change should be made.  In our experience, the “what” and “why” of most transformational strategic or organizational changes are not up for debate.  But the “how” certainly is.

For high levels of inclusion and involvement you need high levels of transparency and communication.  Our organizational alignment research found that the timely and transparent flow of information was 12.5 times better at high performing companies as measured by revenue growth, profitability, customer satisfaction and employee engagement.  The more your key stakeholders feel like they helped to design the implementation of the changes you seek, the greater your chances for success.

Unfortunately too many leaders fail to involve key stakeholders until the plans for action are fully baked.  If you seek change, at a minimum ensure those affected by change:

  • Believe in the new direction
  • Can articulate the rationale for the change
  • Understand the plan to get there
  • Know the part they and their teams are expected play

2. Assign Resources and Accountability
For change to succeed, you must signal that the changes are important by disproportionately investing the right resources (people, capabilities, capital, time) required to make it happen and then measuring and rewarding the change you desire. People are looking to see if the change is truly a priority by being resourced and measured accordingly.

Without transparently measuring results, your stakeholders will not know where things stand.  When people are accountable, they work together toward a known, measurable and common goal.  Managers need to be empowered to make the change happen and must know that they will be in charge of seeing that the transformation actually takes place.

You will know you are headed in the right direction when you see high levels of collaboration between levels and functions at the same time that performance and behavioral expectations are increasing.

3. Empower Those Affected by Change
Once you actively involve stakeholders to accelerate change and given them the right levels of resources and accountability, those affected by change must feel empowered to identify and solve problems themselves.  It is not easy to keep everyone engaged and pulling in the same direction during organizational change. To help accelerate change through empowerment, ensure your leaders ruthlessly identify and remove the barriers that hinder change.

The Bottom Line
Leaders may initiate change but managers and their team members will execute it.  Only when leaders actively involve stakeholders to accelerate change will actual change occur.  And only if the managers clearly understand the rationale for the change, accept accountability and feel supported can it be successful.  The key is to actively involve stakeholders to accelerate change.

To learn more about how to actively involve stakeholders to accelerate change, download The 5 New Lenses of Change Leadership

Share:
Facebook Twitter Google+ Email LinkedIn

Comments are closed.

LSA has become the gold standard in team building and management training at Genomic Health! I have a hard time finding facilitators that come close to their level of customization, expertise and experience.

Emily Couey
Director of Human Resources

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

What a refreshing change from the half-baked psycho-babble you normally get from training and consulting organizations. LSA gives you the practical and results-oriented assistance you need to define and reach your goal.  They provide a results driven plan – not just a temporary fix. They are great to work with, and even more importantly, they “get it!”

David Fiano
Vice President Human Resources

The LSA Global team was very receptive and flexible to our needs every step of the way. Their staff and facilitator demonstrated attention to detail, responsiveness, and professional courtesy. The participants were thrilled with the outcome and rated the communication skills workshop and the facilitator as ‘Excellent’. I’d highly recommend working with the LSA Global team to meet your professional development needs.

John Mastrorilli
FRDP Leader

Intuit

LSA provided top notch solutions right when and how we needed them. They exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and cost standpoint. I recommend them to anyone looking for a true business partner in the Learning and Development arena. The breadth and depth of their expertise has helped us hit tight deadlines across multiple projects.

Fortune 500 Financial Services Company
Director of Infrastructure & Technology

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

Thank you to LSA Global for their partnership and support in helping us to design and roll-out our valuable management development training program. I personally have partnered with LSA Global at four of my previous companies. It continues to be a delight working with LSA. We look forward to partnering with them at Blackhawk Networks for future training and consulting needs.

Suzanne Kinner
VP Human Resources

Blackhawk Network

LSA custom designed a Management Development program that is absolutely “on target” for our technical managers. Their facilitator has done a superb job delivering the material in a way that is fast paced, highly interactive, and fun. She presents practical solutions to the people situations that our managers face every day. I regard LSA as an excellent partner that understands our business needs and a virtual member of our HR department.

Judith Onton
Vice President Human Resources

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

Here’s a token of my appreciation for ALL your efforts. I’m offering my most sincere appreciation, and it extends to all the folks who made our customized management development programs possible.

Susan Anderson
Workforce Planning Bureau

I had been working with LSA for many years with my prior company. Currently, I’m with a company who hadn’t done much basic management skills training. After identifying and presenting a program recently, our managers are excited and talking in the halls about the great experience. LSA saves us time in delivering the right training for our needs.

Phyllis Moracco
HR Director

We have been able to utilize LSA’s extensive network of top-notch resources to leverage our investment in employee development. The result has been the cost effective and highly efficient delivery of quality educational and management training programs.

Steve Feller
Vice President, Human Resources

For our go to training outsourcing partner, LSA provides exactly what we want. As always, they deliver outstanding work!

Elizabeth Siebert
Director, Organizational Excellence & Development

Intuit

What a personal and professional pleasure it has been to Partner with LSA. They are truly a strategic partner with Wyse. For more than 5 years, LSA has been engaged in delivering various training and development solutions for Wyse, from custom on-site programs targeting specific core competencies, to working individually with clients to build job skills, and offering invaluable services to me and my team as we continue to build our learning programs. LSA’s representatives do more than sell a product, they offer a full service solution: they understand our business, our strategic initiatives, and the needs of our customers.

Jeff Rangel
Director of HR

LSA helped to meet the needs of my teams within a very narrow timeframe. My team walked away with highly useful management tools and practices. LSA saved us time in delivering the right solution for our specific needs.

Sandeep Kumar
Director, Software Engineering, EPG

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More