Know Your Innovation Stakeholders

Innovation StakeholdersIn order to involve key stakeholders early, you must first understand who your stakeholder are.

I recently read a book called Crucial Conversations. In the chapter called “Move to Action,” the authors describe how to identify potential participants in a decision.

The authors recommend asking four questions:

Who cares? Who has a vested interest in the subject matter of your crowdsourcing campaign? Those people are potential candidates for involvement in the decisions around which ideas to advance.

Who knows? These are your subject matter experts.

Who must agree? These are your influencers or those with decision-making authority at your organization.

How many people? Finally, the authors recommend taking into consideration how many of these candidates for participation you can involved in a practical way, without burying the decision in tremendous complexity and inefficiency. I pivoted off this, because software can help you overcome the challenges that would usually bog down group decisions. A software solution allows you to efficiently gather and synthesize diverse opinions into a single decision. We will dive a deeper into how software allows you to make collective decisions efficiently a little bit later.

But for now, I would like to offer an alternative way to frame the fourth question…Instead of asking how many people can participate efficiently, ask yourself:

How and when will they participate? Of those people who I wish to engage in decisions, how can I engage them efficiently? And WHEN is the appropriate time to engage them?

Once you map out who cares, who know, and who must agree, you might not include each of these people in the decision-making process in the exact same way or at the exact same time, but you can use software to develop an inclusive yet efficient system. Check out this blog on decision-making and this one on execution. For the full story on implementation, watch our 20 min webinar

This blog post is part of a series authored by IdeaScale employees. It showcases how they’re thinking about crowdsourcing and innovation as part of their daily routine. Feel free to ask questions or make comments.

This post is by Whitney Bernstein, Innovation Strategist at IdeaScale

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