Whether you’ve been in business for 1 year, or many, whether you have your 5-year plan memorised or you’re just about to sit down with a blank piece of paper and a pen – your stakeholders, whoever they are, are sure to be expecting something from you. The question is… .do you really know what that is?
But before you start to panic and grab the latest financial year-end report, it’s a lot simpler than you think. We introduce 4 things that your stakeholders expect from you, your project, your business and your strategy.
They want you to know who they are
Often referred to as “stakeholder mapping”, this is when you take time to get to know who your stakeholders are, what influence they hold, what they consider to be important and what they expect to see from you and your business. It’s the very first step in stakeholder management – they know that, and now you know that too. So, chances are they’re going to be expecting you to take the time to get to know who they are, and what opportunities they offer to your project or business strategy. After all – the reason why they’re a stakeholder in the first place is because they have something of value to offer you. But if you’re not prepared to get to know what that is, then you’ve failed at the first hurdle.
They want you to keep them updated
We’ve spoken about this before. Think about the team required to fly an aeroplane. As much as we think it’s all down to the pilot, there’s a massive team driving that steel bird, getting it from A to B, safely, and as planned, that we often don’t take into consideration. And if one team is unaware of what another team is doing, how will it possible be able to execute a safe and planned flight plan? It can’t. Just the same with business strategy and stakeholder management. Your stakeholders may not want to manage, and they may not even want to intervene – but they do want to know what your plan is, how long you predict it will take and any challenges you may face along the way in order to step in at the appropriate time and offer help. They expect to be kept updated – so make sure you do.
They want you to consult them
Stakeholders are not there just to look good and give a nod or a shake of a head in silent rhetoric. They are involved because they have an active interest in what you’re doing, and their desire for you to succeed is just as strong as your own. And although they may not be as actively involved in the day-to-day, they certainly expect more than just sitting on the reserve bench. They have opinion and insight to share, they have experience over and above yours, they understand the market and they are able to guide and advise – when you simply can’t see ahead. They expect you to consult them, and whether you do this informally, or whether you set a regular time to do this in a larger forum, either way – they will be waiting for you to ask their opinion on things, and advice on others.
They want to know that you have a plan
But as with all business, probably the most important thing that your stakeholders will expect of you, is a business strategy and plan, carefully thought out and tested, that is focussed on growth and success. They want to know that you have built a plan which is realistically-ambitious, and will deliver the results you, and they, expect. Although no plan ever goes according to…er… plan, they want to know that you’ve looked at your strategy from every possible angle, and prepared for potential risk and plan deviation.
If you need help getting your business back on track and delivering results that your stakeholders will love you for, then speak to us today.