Stakeholder alignment is the process of understanding your stakeholder’s interests and aligning those interests with your own business objectives.
1. Understanding Your Stakeholders. Ask stakeholders the key questions and make a note of their answers. Stakeholder answers reveal their interests in, and perceptions of your business. When stakeholders answer the questions differently, you have early warning of emerging conflicts. The goal of Stakeholder Alignment is to get agreement from stakeholders on what the answers to these questions could be. Note that it is easiest to achieve this agreement at the very beginning of a business or a project you want to implement in your business– ideally, during the “Define” Phase.
2. Communicating with Your Key Stakeholders. It takes skill in communication and negotiation to align stakeholder interests, particularly when stakeholders have very different perspectives and needs. Keeping them informed about what is happening in your business, where you are right now, and where you will see the business going is critical.
Make sure your communication also includes those who do not support your business or project too. Have a shared understanding of the following points:
(i) What your business or project is doing;
(ii) Why your business is doing it this way.
(iii) Who will judge the business success.
3. Empower your Key Stakeholders. Share you vision with your key stakeholders. The more they are involved in your business they easier it will be for you to achieve your business objectives.
Remember, a team effort is always better than trying to do every yourself.
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