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:
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:
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
Why Employees Change Their Mind
3 Signs of Good and Bad Strategies
We consider LSA Global our outsourced learning and development partner. We worked closely with LSA to customize a management development program to meet our growing business needs. I would highly recommend LSA to any company wanting to deliver quality learning solutions.
Vice President Human Resources
We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development
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.
Workforce Planning Bureau
Working with LSA Global has proven to be extremely valuable and worthwhile. LSA understands our business, has deep expertise in content areas, and tailors the programs to deliver great results. The facilitator was extremely knowledgeable about Working Globally with India and her energy and passion made the session interesting, fun, and enjoyable for all that attended. The participants walked away extremely pleased along with highly useful practices and tools. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company that has partners or offices in India.
Human Resources Business Partner
I am very impressed with the quality of work and talent. LSA did a great job of listening to my needs and providing the exact management training program expertise I needed to get the job done.
Director, Business Planning & Analysis
We have worked with LSA Global for our learning and development needs and have always had great success. They helped us recently with customized Management Workshops that we held for the second time. It was fantastic, and I would highly recommend LSA to anyone that is attempting to get immediate and impactful improvements.
HR Manager, BU Radiology Informatics
Our company engaged LSA to do a specialized “train the trainer” program, and the consultant’s performance outdid our exceptionally high standards for such a program. Very crucial to the success of this program was the work done upfront to discuss our needs and to interview key members of our organization so that the program specifically met our goals. Our facilitators continue to comment on the success of the program. Thanks also for the follow-up.
Chief Financial Officer
PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.
Vice President of Human Resources
LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.
VP of Human Resources
LSA’s customized Effective Presentation Skills program has helped me elevate my presentation skills to the next level. I now have a much greater self-awareness of my presentation skills and can leverage off of my strengths while working to improve upon other areas. I would definitely recommend this solution to anyone for whom business presentations are an integral part of their job.
Senior Marketing Manager
The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.
VP of Human Resources
I have worked with LSA Global at previous companies and welcomed the opportunity to bring them in to support my new organization. We worked closely with LSA to design a solution for our Client Partner Teams and Management Training on both coasts. LSA designed a customized solution for our business and organizational culture. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner that makes an impact.
Chief People Officer
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.
“We turned to LSA to help us custom design and deliver a leadership and management development curriculum to help drive performance. They have done an excellent job diagnosing the business situation, designing an approach that fits our culture, and delivering a first class solution.”
VP Human Resources
LSA is an instrumental training outsourcing partner in helping us to build management capacity and strategically invest in our people. Their flexibility, depth, and breadth of expertise allows us to deliver top quality solutions that are directly tied to key business plans. Their ability to custom design, deliver, and evaluate our Management Curriculum has been excellent. They are true business partners and a pleasure to work with.
Margaret M. Mader
Vice President, Human Resources
Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.
Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations? Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.
Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.
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.
Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.
Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.