Strategic Management

Effective Stakeholder Management

Whether you know it or not, we are all in the business of stakeholder management. Ideally it’s a conscious, planned and focused activity associated with clear actions and outcomes but more often than not it is an unconscious and unplanned aspect of managing projects day-to-day. Developing a formalised, documented, repeatable process for mapping stakeholders and embedding a clear methodology for stakeholder management can yield enormous benefit.

What? When? Why? Who? How?

So, what is stakeholder management? Formal stakeholder analysis is used by business leaders and project managers to identify the key influencers associated with a particular project or programme then assess their attitude, level of interest and the importance they attach to it. Such knowledge helps change programmes to interact in the most effective way with stakeholders, particularly in planning optimal pro-active communication.

When is the right time for stakeholder management? It is essential to conduct the initial stakeholder analysis before the change or transformation programme begins so that the business leader or project manager can drive positive outcomes by detecting negativity, resistance or misunderstandings early on and take appropriate action. Stakeholder analysis can also be helpful when a programme changes direction.

Why is it important? Stakeholder management is a key leadership tool. Done consciously and effectively it secures the ownership and accountability necessary for delivering change. It’s a way of aligning multiple teams with a single goal and providing that all-important ‘golden thread’ of relevance to the strategic aims of the organisation.

Who are your stakeholders? You can identify your stakeholders by following the ‘threads’ of the programme i.e. who is paying the bill, who has sign off, who is contributing resources. Distinguish between a sponsor and a stakeholder as their roles are quite different: the sponsor is the single owner of the programme, whereas the stakeholders are all those who stand to gain from it. Note that your sponsor may also have a sponsor’s agent in order to expedite action.

How does it work? The golden rule of stakeholder management is to clearly identify roles and responsibilities up front as well as analysing the stakeholders themselves. Set expectations for your sponsor and stakeholders with regards to performance indicators and measurement and build a tailored communications strategy around what you have learned from your analysis.

Stakeholder mapping vs stakeholder management

Notwithstanding the potential benefits of effective stakeholder management, 80% of the time it is a waste of time. In fact, poor stakeholder management and ineffectual communication are two of the key reasons why change often fails.

The first pitfall is the stakeholders themselves. Some are good, some are not. The issues arise when they don’t understand their role; what is expected of them, what questions to ask or what information they should be receiving. The answer is to communicate responsibilities and ensure a common appreciation of the value and potential impact of the role.

The second tripwire is the process. Whilst it’s easy enough to create a stakeholder map, you have to remember that the map is not the end goal. We’ve seen countless examples of project managers simply not knowing what to do with their analysis (inertia), not knowing what they want/need to get from it (lack of connection) or just not taking (or making) the time to act on it (roadblocks).

The simple difference between the limited value of stakeholder mapping and the wide-ranging benefits of stakeholder management is action. Avoid the ‘tick in a box’ approach by visualising, targeting and time-boxing specific outcomes. Focus on benefit-driven activities that maintain that essential thread of relevance through to one unifying goal. At Afiniti we call this ‘doing the right things right’.

Return on investment

Stakeholder management brings classic returns in terms of time, money and motivation. The bottom line is that every minute you invest in driving effective stakeholder management will bring a significant business benefit in terms of:

l Accountability

The RACI model for identifying roles and responsibilities including who is ‘responsible’, ‘accountable’, ‘consulted’ and ‘informed’ will help initiate and maintain accountability.

l Progress

In practical terms stakeholder management keeps your decision-makers and influencers engaged and on track and thereby oils the wheels of progress.

l Change penetration

Managing stakeholders effectively is not just about forward momentum, it is also about scale; helping to push and promote change in every corner of the organisation.

l Overcoming barriers

Forewarned is forearmed: your stakeholder grid will identify where you are most likely to encounter resistance so you can ensure you are ready to counter it.

l Leveraging influence

Decision-making takes place and takes place on time when you have worked out whose opinions to weigh heaviest and who to consult first in making major decisions.

l Risk management

Stakeholder management is as much about managing risk as it is about managing people in the sense that it reveals potential pitfalls and provokes proactive mitigation.

l Personal influence & career progression

Learning to leverage relationships in order to reach positive outcomes is an important career skill and one that will contribute gravitas to an individual’s personal style.

The takeaway

Stakeholder management is not rocket science but you do need to follow a clear process to return the greatest benefit. This is our simple step-by-step approach:

The people aspects of Change Management Programmes are what Afiniti does best; driving transformation and delivering results through our proven methods and approach. Our combination of effective stakeholder management, communications strategy, creative employee engagement and best practice project management delivery we can guarantee success.

Sample Of Business Plan For Beginners

Since childhood, the best way to learn anything is to look at examples. Business plans are no different. Beginners usually enter the business without having any idea of how is a business managed or how is a business plan written. Sample of Business Plan is quite helpful for beginners to understand what kind of a document is expected from them to get money from investors.

It’s nothing particularly about investors. To extract money from anybody, there must be an excellent incentive. Investors and venture capitalists are looking for a business idea that shows the promise of giving them rewards higher than their investment. After all, this is their business and they are, like anybody else, looking for profits. Their profits are dependent on performance of your business. They will definitely look at each point critically and will evaluate its worth before staking their money in your venture.

Popular Sources

In the era of digitization, everything is available at fingertips. Sample business plans are also abundantly available online. You can go through them whenever you feel like. A simple Google search will open up numerous business plan samples for different kinds of businesses. Depending on your industry, you can pick samples and go through them in detail. Read up as many samples as possible. Study carefully its structure, its contents, the way information has been worded and structured; all details must be absorbed and reproduced at the time of drafting the plan.

Another online source for going through sample business documents is work portfolio of plan writing companies. Most companies today have online presence. It is an effective medium to popularize their services and get business. They often have a small work portfolio open for everybody to see. It is like putting up your products for display. On the basis of the business plan samples shared online, clients can take a call on whether they are close to what they are expecting to see in their business documents. Contact details are available online for all such companies. If you like anybody’s work, you can contact them either on phone or through mail.

Live Plans are Best Samples

If you are a beginner, do not take chances with your business proposal. Do not completely rely on what you see on the company website. Best work samples are ones that are live in action. Get in touch with the firm’s clients to know how their plans are performing. Getting funds is not the only time when you’ll need a business plan to be strong and realistic. You would be following the plan for a quite a lot of time during the course of running your business. It will be your roadmap, at least for initial years. Make sure that it is workable and profitable. Ask their existing clients about how dependable are their plans.

Talk to more than one clients and get their feedback on the quality of plans delivered by your shortlisted plan writing companies. Theoretically, there is no end to learning through samples. Practically, evaluating online work portfolios and three to four live plans is sufficient. It should answer all your questions and should give you a fair idea of what you need.

Understanding the Characteristics of the Best Motivational Speakers

A motivational speaker is a person who can create a magical effect to an unmotivated group. His speeches are full of inspiration and captivating words that beholds the audience and gives them the strength to handle the difficult situations in life with a positive stride. If you are businessmen or manage an organization then it is a good idea to organize speeches from versatile and powerful speakers at corporate events at your company. These speakers hold a wide experience and understand the situation the listeners might be facing. Therefore their lectures are directed directly to the listeners and hit their emotional chord and inspire them for a life time. The characteristics to look for while selecting a speaker for an event are.

An inherent sense of motivation and optimism

It is the primary quality of any American motivational speaker. They need to be persuasive in their approach such that they can drive the audience towards their best. The best speakers in this field are immensely self motivated and have mastered the art to live a happy life despite the hardships they may have faced. Their social and personal accomplishments vouch for their talent. Their talks are optimistic with a good compelling factor such that the audience can feel related and boost their morale.

Connection with the Audience

A person can only motivate others if they hold an inherent quality to connect. The greatest speakers till date such as Muhammad Yunus speaking have the ability to connect and exude a vibe such that he is one with the people in the room. A humanitarian and a Nobel peace prize winner, Muhammad Yunus’s charm and struggles attract the listeners and drive them towards success. These speakers utilize humor and develop their speeches in the form of interesting stories about their past failures to show the audience that they too have faced problems in life.

A Charming Voice

A captivating voice is actually 90 percent of the delivery. It is so because a good voice resonates throughout the hall and delivers the message acurately and effectively to the listeners. These speakers talk clearly and keep the right pace their words such that it could be easily understood by all. A well carried speech with an engaging voice is the best tool to reach the audience.

These qualities form an inherent character of any motivational speaker and should be looked into while looking for one. You can also utilize the services of keynote speaker’s bureau to match the right one for you. These bureaus are helpful if you wish to change the management speakers at an event. The bureaus comprises of a professional team that can handle any international event effectively.

Improvement Through Effective Handling of Sherwood Park Dodge Complaints

People come and go at Edmonton Dodge dealerships everyday. If all goes well with the service and overall transaction, the customer goes out with a satisfied smile on his or her face.

Certainly though, as an overused saying goes, you cannot please everyone. An old quote, but it rings out truth and reality. While car dealers do their best to keep a positive relationship with everyone who walks inside the showroom, there are instances when something goes wrong somewhere. In this case, you get a complaint, negative feedback.

Now, unhappy customers voicing out a flurry of Sherwood Park Dodge complaints must be addressed immediately. Their problems must be rectified accordingly by the dealership.

No one knows how far the ire of disgruntled buyers can go. Sometimes, if a car dealership really failed to satisfy those kind of customers, they retaliate to the extent that could damage a dealership’s reputation.

How would you avoid this from happening? If the Edmonton Dodge dealer is sincere in keeping its promise of quality service, it will do its best to handle Sherwood Park Dodge complaints.

Here are the following simple protocols that quality car dealers follow to resolve customer problems:

Listen to the complainant

This is the first thing that every dealership should never forget. The gravest sin that a car selling chain commit is posing a deaf ear to customer complaints, no matter how small.

No business ever prospered by shunning its buyers’ gripes. This explains why Sherwood Park Dodge sees to it that Sherwood Park Dodge complaints are responded to as soon as the matter has been verified.

Know and solve the problem

Clients who air Sherwood Park Dodge complaints may have experienced different problems. After lending a listening ear to the complainant, try to figure out what the grumbling is all about.

Common problems include defects on the products, which can be properly addressed by offering a money-back scheme, product exchange, product repair or a return policy.

Thank and apologize to the customers

Consider each complaint as a constructive criticism and an opportunity for the business to grow and for the staff to learn something. Take time to thank the customers for every feedback sent to you.

Also, it is best to apologize to buyers who issue their dissatisfaction. Sorry is the magic word to hear that can appease most hot-headed complainants.

Remember to check on them after you have corrected the problem

When you have reached an agreement and the customer has already responded favorably to your solution, try to call them after a few days as a follow up. This is to ensure that they receive complete satisfaction.

Building a reputation of giving out quality service takes time. That is why it is of utmost importance that all Sherwood Park Dodge complaints must be addressed accordingly.

Every single customer that steps inside the dealership chain is important, so take time to listen to them, no matter who they are, especially if they have grievances and feedback.

Improvement of the car dealership can be gained when complaints are heeded and the management is committed to make their clients happy. This is what Sherwood Park Dodge complaints and feedback is all about.

How Corporate Training Helps in Developing Business Plan and Leads to Proper Stress Management

As far as the business plan is concerned, the top most priority is to keep it secret and secrecy is the most important aspect of all business plans. Well, there is lots of stress in the business and it is definitely not that easy. In order to reduce the stress, it is quite important to understand that the stress management is one of the most significant factors in any businessperson’s life. Keep an eye on the corporate training as well. All the businesspersons need proper officials and the survey suggest that most of the colleges teach irrelevant theories and these theories cannot be practiced in practical life. There is lot to think definitely on all these factors and they are important to be understood as well.

Let us start with the business plan. Keep in mind that most of the business plans require think tank and generally, only the top-level management takes part in these kind of planning. The best approach is to look at each aspects of the business and find out that what really the need of that particular business is. It is certainly not that easy at all. One needs to start from the word go to establish the business if something goes wrong and hence the business-plan requires top level thinking.

Some of the biggest businesspersons have realized that the most important factor is demand and supply. The business might suffer from the inflation as well as deflation and this can definitely be dangerous. The demand is important and supply should match the demand if one wants to make sure that business-plan id fully established. Most of the officials in any company find themselves in lots of pain while working and hence they need to be provided with the perfect environment, where they can work freely.

The corporate training is essential and hence it is definitely important to make sure that most of the officials go through the regular corporate training, while they are working and the year’s follows. Keep in mind that on majority of instances one will definitely find that proper corporate-training can lead to better stress management and proper business plan.